The Importance Of The Social Contract Theory; The Importance Of The Social Contract Theory. Social contract is an intellectual tool aimed at explaining necessary relationships between individual and their government (Christman 2002, p26). Social contracts have had an obligation of ensuring political authority based on individual rational and self interest consent (Cristo 2003, p.48). Hence, it was employed as a device of framing what was good in developing the just society or state. Social contract, in political philosophy, an actual or hypothetical compact, or agreement, between the ruled and their rulers, defining the rights and duties of each. Individuals have framed rights and self interest as they make their own congruent decisions. It originated with a presupposition of legitimate political power, as well as This is IvyPanda's free database of academic paper samples. Social contract has been used to support several western positions. Indiana: Hackett Publishing Co. Social contract was developed in early western political thought. Social contract started by discussing kings, lords, nobles, princess and bishops duties though much later, the contract was centered on the rights an individual would look after to be protected by the state. London: Routledge. It was seen as an intellectual expression to European political thoughts where by kings, vassal and lords, were considered in formation of political, legal and military affairs (Rousseau 1987, p16). Political theorists, when framing their theory, put into account the social contract. Specifically for law enforcement, social contract theory is important to justify the power that law enforcement can exert over the population as a whole (Evans and MacMillan, 2014). Thomas Hobbes suggests that the only way to truly remove the natural impulse to create war is to eliminate the borders that surround every individual or group. London: Routledge. His characterization is perhaps best summed up in his own succinct words: “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” These words speak measures to his attitude towards the fundamental nature of government—an attitude that shaped a political party in his time that has evolved over time with the core concept relatively intact. Contracts can be made to curtail natural rights to prevent warfare in its various forms, but does not eliminate all conflict. Western Political Theory in the Face of the Futuru. Social contract theory is a contentious idea in the study of business morals, since extensive political issues are tied to it, to which many people disagree. Portrayed human beings and society in materialistic and mechanical way. It was Locke's ideas that were considered one of the most important influences in the formation of the United States. It also led to the establishment of the constitution in the state (Cristo 2003, p98). Minister Sully brought economic stability and financial growth However, Rawls adds the veil of ignorance concept to his more modern social contract theory. n. A usually implicit agreement among the members of an organized society or between the governed and … September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. It favors a large government, and does not place any real importance on the rights of those entering into the social contract with those in power. A Social Contract is not an official contract, but a fiction; that of mutual understanding. Christman (2002, p.28) further argued that, “this motivated the social contract theorist to look for ways on how they can demonstrate in different modes, how a rational individual would wish to give up his/her freedom to obtain political order benefits.” The paper addresses the manner in which social contract impacted western political theory. To simplify it, Hobbesian social contract theory places an emphasis on the importance of a government that takes rights from the people to provide services and run the government. Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, lived during the most crucial period of early modern England's history: the English Civil War, waged from 1642-1648. The term 'social contract' refers to the idea that the state exists only to serve the will of the people, who are the source of all political power enjoyed by the state. Locke grew up in a rural Tudor house in Belluton. Western political theorists have predominantly been portraying the exchange and interdependence between their constitution and government through social contract model (McClelland 1996, p182). Did not see god as a source of political authority Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. (2019) 'The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society'. According to this theory, valid and universally applicable moral rules can be determined by asking what rules people would voluntarily make if there were no rules. The first modern philosopher to articulate a detailed contract theory was Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), who contended that people in a state of nature ceded their individual rights to create sovereignty, retained by the state, in return for their protection and a more functional society, so social contract evolves out o… Hobbes (2002, p.26) wrote that, “lt it ended to an establishment of state which a sovereign entity is creating laws which regulated interaction socially.” The state system which resulted from individual ceding their rights was without leadership (Christman 2002, p88). The classic social-contract theorists of the 17th and 18th centuries— Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), John Locke (1632–1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78)—held that the social contract is the means by which civilized society, including government, arises from a historically or logically preexisting condition of stateless anarchy, or a “ state of nature.” 10 September. If you continue, But why is there a need for a greater, real ethical responsibility? Social contract has enhanced formation of political parties, democracy, obedience of the law, proper governance and even law formation (Rousseau 1987, p.26). It has often been argued that, fundamentally, the absence of written constitution in UK, is the by-product of a historical coincidence; as typically throughout history, revolutions, wars & political events were the primary cause of constitutional change; e.g. Position: Companies and business people should be ethical Though obedience goes hand in hand with state governance, not all political decisions require being obedience (McClelland 1996, p163). IvyPanda. States were in conflict because there was no sovereign state. Some authors presented social contract as something which was historically in existence as debated on the collective bargain terms (Rousseau 1987, p30). Both parties to the contract should behave as if it was tangible and real. According to Christman (2002, p.28), “arguments related to social contract claimed that individuals are united to political process by mutual consent, agreement to abide by general rules and acceptance of duties to protect oneself and one another from violence or any other type of harm.” Social contract theory played crucial role in enhancing an idea that, political mandate must be derived upon the government consent therefore, it is mainly associated with political and moral theory as it is depicted by Thomas Hobbes. The Social Contract. Social Contract theory is important because it revolutionized the way that people understood the role of subjects and kings. They are directly related to each other. 2019. (2019, September 10). In fact, economists have demonstrated that corporate profits associated with ethics, and increase the level of profits tied to increase level of ethics. He developed his Social Contract Theory in his famous book “Two Treatises on Civil Government (1690)”. ... What the government does to hide the truth about food, sugar, and its relation to obesity is in direct violation of the Social Contract Theory. In other words these are the powers that rule the United Kingdom until today. It postulates a state of nature as the original condition of humanity and asocial contract, deliberately and voluntarily made, as the means of escape therefrom. Especially when social contract discriminates against women politically, terming them as unworthy and unable to make crucial political decisions. Social construction is a sociological concept, which refers to individuals or groups’ perceptions or ideas that are created through social and cultural practice. For Paine and modern conservatives alike, government is only rendered necessary due to the inadequacies of moral virtue in running a society. Not everyone would agree on the best type of music or the best books, so these cannot legitimately be the subject of universal moral rules. New York, NY: Routeledge Publisher. Both parents were Puritans. Cookies Policy, This essay on The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society was written and submitted by your fellow student. Although these statements, we can see that we do not have a strict separation between the three functions, as Bagehot said in his writings “the close union, the nearly complete fusion, of the executive and legislative powers”, with cabinet being responsible to. September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. The power imbalance, held by law enforcement, is part of the contract … In other words, even if institutions have been constructed in a particular way on the basis of very specific preferences, actors still have to work within these institutional structures subsequently. Copyright © 2020 IPL.org All rights reserved. According to Dunn (1993, p28), Westerners have been in a position to exercise their democracy as citizens with rights to make their own decision when voting. Individuals, through corporations, have the right to amass wealth, but morality dictates that they do so ethically. When a society develops, it will become necessary for a government to compensate for the eventual defect of moral virtue in individuals. A social contract theory has played major role in enhancing political democracy in western political theory. Point 1: Being ethical in business strengthens the systems and relationships that support and sustain it According to eminent Professor Dicey, the rule of law presupposes the absence of wide discretionary authority among the rulers and that they are unable to govern according to their own laws and they actually end up governing and implementing the existing laws . Modern Political Thinkers and ideas: a Historical Introduction. What’s your deadline? France Social contract theories see the relationship of power between state and citizen as a consensual exchange. Learn about social contract theory and what some important thinkers from the 1600s onward had to say about it. Social contract could also be used as a justification for good governance. After completing his studies there, he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford in 1652. There are many who have embraced the concept over the years, including theorists … Social contract attempts to evaluate and show the purpose and value of the organized government by comparing and contrasting the civil society and the state of nature. Cardinal Richelieu imposed direct royal administration on France. Consequently, government strength is derived from proper management of the social contract as evidenced in Rousseau’s social contract which is one of the major theories that molded the western political thoughts (Rousseau 1987, p29). Meanwhile, business ethics has a great role for the development of enterprises. Ward Churchill’s criticism of social contract theory clearly applies to classic social contract theories that we discussed. These business people do not understand this concept and do not fully understand the role of ethical in business. The natural rights we were born with are protected by a government we choose to govern us. With social contract theory, citizens seek to find fair and just treatment in society. Patriotism reflects a desire to protect one’s national group. It was thought that Social contract died after it was ridiculed by Bentham and Hume, though it has been in existence until twentieth century as an argument of rights of the state. Social contract has played a role in enhancing the constitution. Different activists gave different terms as far as social contract is concerned. Social contract persisted being in use in United States of America, where by, social contract was argued to be succession rights in the southern before the emergency of civil war (Kelly & Boucher 1994, p.87). John Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset, England, to John and Agnes Lock, the father a country lawyer and clerk to the Justices of the Peace in Chew Magna. It is controversial as to how much a business should sacrifice in its aspiration for social responsibility. The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls. Thus, social contracts have had a congruent impact to the western political theory (Jones 2002, p.165). Social contract developed a framework for the western political philosophers to follow. To simplify it, Hobbesian social contract theory places an emphasis on the importance of a government that takes rights from the people to provide services and run the government. Social contract states clearly circumstances under which the state government is very crucial, through this has assisted in developing essential duties and rights of the citizens (McClelland 1996, p.145). The social contract is a common term within political discourse which refers to an invisible contract between the people and the state. Published his most influential work Leviathan which provided a philosophical justification for a strong central political authority. This made them to compete with one another. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Kelly, J., & Boucher, D., 1994. You work together as a neighborhood to protect the homes of one another. It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. As opposed to state of nature, social contract brought about development of states which enhanced citizen’s democracy. Rousseau, J., 1987. "For that fact, we know that government is with us to stay, however, government can only be constitutional when it mirrors the aggregate opinion, or general will, of the society(Academiaedu, 2017). One may decide to vote or not to without any one questioning them. Social contract theories started from human natures desire to learn what happens on an individual when absented from political governance (Christman 2002, p.48). Social contract theory synonyms, Social contract theory pronunciation, Social contract theory translation, English dictionary definition of Social contract theory. Social and Political Philosophy: a Contemporary Introduction. Social contract changed the state of nature. "The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society." Most political philosophers used the social contract theory in framing their theory and in elaborating their political theory concept. "Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains! IvyPanda. Social contract theories framed how the states constitution could be structured depending on the sovereign powers interest. Institutions do not act. Social contract also appeared as a means for better understanding of the public policy which existed in the works of John Rawls, an American political philosopher. Much importance has been gained by corporate governance in, Here, we are talking about social contract theory or we can say a topic which have been not so popular in accounting profession but also stands firmly and must needed an attention in business sector. 827 Words 4 Pages. September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. Social contract theory justifies the sovereign power as well as trying to protect an individual from too powerful sovereign oppression (Christman 2002, p.36). People with a strong notion in the free enterprise model or laissez faire model of individualism argue that organisations benefit the general public by creating wealth, providing assistance and by developing job opportunities. Social contracts played a major role in determining gender participation in politics. We utilize security vendors that protect and If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. New York, NY: Routledge. According to Hobbes (2002, p.26), “political order and social contract creates a way toward an end by benefiting only the involved individuals.” Several social contract theorists argued that, failings associated with law and political order can only be changed by citizens through election or other means like violence. The answer is obviously to find socially CSR projects that can be advantageous to the organization; however, many believe that this defeats the aim of carrying responsible business practices. Therefore, social contract has played major role in shaping western political theory. It favors a large government, and does not place any real importance on the rights of those entering into the social contract with those in power. There is a strong connection between corporate governance and economic growth and company’s profitability. Social contract theory says that people live together in society in accordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political rules of behavior. It has played a role of identifying the useful government to the western communities and the best state of governance to hold. On the other hand, Vernon points out that, observers of the British constitution, discovered the key to the success of the British government, lies with its triumph in combining “freedom with stability” . We are all governed by the societies we live in. The rule of law also, Lack of corporate governance is the main constraint of SMEs development. Other people obey the law because they are forced due to fear of punishment but not because they are obliged to. London: Routledge. Social contract facilitated rationale to the state citizens as they had better understanding of political theories by capturing the social contract concepts. Social contract theory is a contentious idea in the study of business morals, since extensive political issues are tied to it, to which many people disagree. This view indicates companies can prosper by focussing on making profits rather than on troublesome and subjective ethical concerns. John Locke’… Though social contract has played a major role in moral and political theory, it has experienced criticism whereby, feminists and philosophers who are conscious to race consider it as an incomplete symbol to moral and political theory as they see it as a way of camouflaging, hence, the contract is seen as discriminative in nature. Henry was loyal and caring to his people According to Dunn (1993, p28), Westerners have been in a position to exercise their democracy as citizens with rights to make their own decision when voting. It has been used as a means for executing the king as it was in 17th century in England when it was used by the leaders of the Commonwealth (McClelland 1996, p.135). Social Contract Theory The importance of social contract theory demonstrates the perspective of a particular individual moral and political obligation that are highly relational to the contract or agreement relative to the condition of terms if they are acceptable in the society (Friend, 2004). John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism". Each individual has his or her own right. What this means is that just as institutions are the result of the actions of actors, so post-institutional outcomes are the result of equivalent actions. Social contract created political theory by capturing the concept that individual obedience is not necessary when making a congruent decision; hence it is necessary for the citizens to make decisions based on the individuals’ choice but not through political influence (Rouseau 1987, p19). Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to Social Contract Theory. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must. Christman, J., 2002. John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau who came after Hobbes are also proponents of social contract theory which has enormously influenced political and moral theory throughout the modern west political history. IvyPanda. This has been enhanced through eradication of the dictatorship regimes because each citizen through social contracts had better understanding and capturing of what their rights are, hence, their rights should be respected. So one condition of rule of law that it should be embedded with morality and then only it would act as a strong yardstick to control the society. Copyright © 2021 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream In moral and political philosophy, the social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social construction Giddens (1989) defined sociology as the academic discipline concerned with the study of human social life. Mechanical way and the government in impacting the political theories as they had better understanding of political based... Are forced due to fear of punishment but not because they are obliged.. 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