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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. France These separation of powers as a lot of philosophers and specialists have told before is very important for the simple reason that Montesquieu mentioned very clearly “When legislative power is united with executive powers in a single person or in a single body there is no liberty, because one can fear that the same monarch or senate that makes tyrannical laws will execute them tyrannically”. 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. Generally, people are unaware of this concept but when known, should adopt it. Indiana: Hackett Publishing Co. Social construction Giddens (1989) defined sociology as the academic discipline concerned with the study of human social life. 2019. Political theorists, when framing their theory, put into account the social contract. Social contract ascertains that political order and law are not natural but human creation (Christman 2002, p.50). Social contract theories started from human natures desire to learn what happens on an individual when absented from political governance (Christman 2002, p.48). Dunn, J., 1993. In other words these are the powers that rule the United Kingdom until today. The power imbalance, held by law enforcement, is part of the contract … A Social Contract is not an official contract, but a fiction; that of mutual understanding. 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/. 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 Position: Companies and business people should be ethical 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. 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). Social contract theory is based on the idea of a contractual agreement between the individual and the state, under which the power of the sovereign is justified by a hypothetical social contract in which the people agree to obey in all matters in return for a guarantee of peace and security, which they lack in the warlike "state of nature" posited to exist before the contract is made. Christo, B., 2003. Although in the concept of the Social Contract Theory written by the three philosophers- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke … The natural rights we were born with are protected by a government we choose to govern us. September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. 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. Ward Churchill’s criticism of social contract theory clearly applies to classic social contract theories that we discussed. 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. London: Routledge. He developed his Social Contract Theory in his famous book “Two Treatises on Civil Government (1690)”. Social contract changed the state of nature. Social contract has been used to support several western positions. When you have personal property, you have a natural desire to protect it. 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. Portrayed human beings and society in materialistic and mechanical way. It also led to the establishment of the constitution in the state (Cristo 2003, p98). So businesses do not understand the role of business ethics, no sense of building ethical business in the enterprise, the enterprise will be very difficult to go to the highest success. Tolerated every religion Social contract theory justifies the sovereign power as well as trying to protect an individual from too powerful sovereign oppression (Christman 2002, p.36). 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. This is IvyPanda's free database of academic paper samples. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to Social Contract Theory. IvyPanda. ensure the integrity of our platform while keeping your private information safe. No man in this world is free. 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. How Locke's Social Contract Theory Influenced Others Locke's philosophies and influence on modern society were far-reaching, even extending to the formation of the American Colonies into the bastion of freedom the country is today. By removing the border… Companies yield to social pressures for change and ethical duties by giving token concessions to its stakeholders under the name of “social responsibility” or by the owners doing philanthropic activities. For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Social contracts have had an obligation of ensuring political authority based on individual rational and self interest consent (Cristo 2003, p.48). In subjecting themselves to a sovereign ruler, or other form of government, the people gain security.Locke expressed a belief that people had certain basic rights that must be supplied by the government, as a result of its contract with the people. The social contract is a concept in the philosophy of ethics and political science that has more recently been applied to the study of business ethics. Especially when social contract discriminates against women politically, terming them as unworthy and unable to make crucial political decisions. Cookies Policy, This essay on The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society was written and submitted by your fellow student. • Shareholder Resistance to CSR 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. Did not see god as a source of political authority The most general argument in favour of institutional analysis lies in the idea that institutions have to be interpreted by political actors (Lowndes and Roberts 2013). You can use them for inspiration, an insight into a particular topic, a handy source of reference, or even just as a template of a certain type of paper. McClelland (1996, p.145) wrote that, “It formed unwritten rules for the society that was used for governance leading to formation of government constitution.”. Social contract has enhanced formation of political parties, democracy, obedience of the law, proper governance and even law formation (Rousseau 1987, p.26). However, Rawls adds the veil of ignorance concept to his more modern social contract theory. 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 . There is a strong connection between corporate governance and economic growth and company’s profitability. Both parents were Puritans. It is also very much true that such rule of law varies from one society to another society, a particular law which is supreme in one society may not be supreme in another society. These business people do not understand this concept and do not fully understand the role of ethical in business. 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… Locke grew up in a rural Tudor house in Belluton. In 1647, he was sent to the prestigious Westminster School in London under the sponsorship of Alexander Popham, a member of Parliament and his father‘s former commander. Kelly, J., & Boucher, D., 1994. Foremost in historical importance is the Theory of Social Contract. To illustrate this concept, Paine supports his idea with a hypothetical island. Absolutism in Western Europe Cont. Businesses have an ethical obligation toward members of a given society. The social contract is a common term within political discourse which refers to an invisible contract between the people and the state. 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. But why is there a need for a greater, real ethical responsibility? Different activists gave different terms as far as social contract is concerned. Individuals, through corporations, have the right to amass wealth, but morality dictates that they do so ethically. Patriotism reflects a desire to protect one’s national group. Social contract theory synonyms, Social contract theory pronunciation, Social contract theory translation, English dictionary definition of Social contract theory. At C… Published his most influential work Leviathan which provided a philosophical justification for a strong central political authority. Therefore, social contract has played major role in shaping western political theory. (2019, September 10). Social contract attempts to explain the formation as well as maintenance of societies or states as a result of implied contract between individuals and groups. If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda. 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” . Copyright © 2021 - IvyPanda is a trading name of Edustream The rule of law also, Lack of corporate governance is the main constraint of SMEs development. The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society. Sixteenth century philosopher, John Locke, believed that, when men transfer their rights to a government, a social contract is entered into. Social contracts played a major role in determining gender participation in politics. After completing his studies there, he was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford in 1652. Social contract theory says that people live together in society in accordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political rules of behavior. Social contract facilitated rationale to the state citizens as they had better understanding of political theories by capturing the social contract concepts. Social contract has also impacted political theories as they were framed based on social contract theories. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. Some authors presented social contract as something which was historically in existence as debated on the collective bargain terms (Rousseau 1987, p30). Christman, J., 2002. Most original political philosopher of the 17th century Among the key objectives in businesses is the importance of giving back to society, a role that has come to be known as social responsibility. 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. In Social contract, people gave up their rights with the expectation that others would do the same for them. Social and Political Philosophy: a Contemporary Introduction. 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. Henry IV and Richelieu Rousseau and the Social Contract. New York, NY: Routeledge Publisher. Political philosophers throughout history have had differing views on how governments rule over people. Given the spotty track record of corporate social responsibility in demonstrating profit increase, investors may resist attempts by executives to move a company in that direction. 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). States acted in competition with one another just the way individuals acted in state of nature as they had self interest and no rights. London: Cambridge University press. IvyPanda. 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.” It was Locke's ideas that were considered one of the most important influences in the formation of the United States. It originated with a presupposition of legitimate political power, as well as Social contract enhanced the history of freedom. We will write a custom Essay on The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. It is controversial as to how much a business should sacrifice in its aspiration for social responsibility. 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. "The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society." Meanwhile, business ethics has a great role for the development of enterprises. Being one of the most predominant speculations within political and moral theory throughout the history of. The rule of law requires both citizens and Government to be subjected to standing law. Both parties to the contract should behave as if it was tangible and real. Social contract has played a role in enhancing the constitution. IvyPanda, 10 Sept. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. 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). 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. Everyone would agree to outlaw theft, fraud and murder, so these c… You work together as a neighborhood to protect the homes of one another. The business ethics theory creates and embeds mutual agreement between members of societies and established businesses. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) ... 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. We utilize security vendors that protect and They are directly related to each other. 10 September. Social Contract theory is important because it revolutionized the way that people understood the role of subjects and kings. Western countries have fully benefitted politically from social contract. A) Explain the basics of Rawls and Churchill’s arguments and how they each criticize classic social contract theories. we will assume that you agree to our As opposed to state of nature, social contract brought about development of states which enhanced citizen’s democracy. 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". It contains thousands of paper examples on a wide variety of topics, all donated by helpful students. 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. 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. September 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/role-of-the-social-contract-in-western-political-theory/. the American Revolution steered the ratification of the US Declarations. To describe this conflict in the most general of terms, it was a clash between the King and his supporters, the Monarchists, who preferred the traditional authority of a monarch, and the Parliamentarians, most notably led by Oliver Cromwell, who demanded more power for the quasi-democratic institution of Parliament. There are many who have embraced the concept over the years, including theorists … From the radical reformation period until mid eighteenth century, social contract idea dominated political thinking, which is evidence that political theories were derived from social contract theories. Women were looked down upon as they were regarded as people who needed not to participate in politics. Social contract is an intellectual tool aimed at explaining necessary relationships between individual and their government (Christman 2002, p26). 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. Citizens agree to surrender absolute freedom and obey laws in exchange for the greater security and prosperity that come from living within an organized society. In fact, economists have demonstrated that corporate profits associated with ethics, and increase the level of profits tied to increase level of ethics. 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). 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. McClelland, S., 1996. Learn about social contract theory and what some important thinkers from the 1600s onward had to say about it. Social contract developed a framework for the western political philosophers to follow. "The Importance of Social Contract Theory in Modern Society." Only actors act. The Theory Explained. Institutions do not act. 827 Words 4 Pages. We are all governed by the societies we live in. If the citizens derive from the government maximum benefits that is proportional to what government requires from them, the government acquires strength and legitimacy (Jones 2002, p.145). Modern Political Thinkers and ideas: a Historical Introduction. There remains a lack of genuine initiative to “ethicize” business institutions. IvyPanda. London: Routledge. 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. Jones, T., 2002. Individuals have framed rights and self interest as they make their own congruent decisions. These concessions are but partial, if not artificial, commitment to ethical responsibility, and only a fraction of companies do these. Most political philosophers used the social contract theory in framing their theory and in elaborating their political theory concept. IvyPanda. Unfortunately, your browser is too old to work on this site. Technologies LLC, a company registered in Wyoming, USA. 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. Each individual has his or her own right. In 18th century Jean Jacques Rousseau, offers an explanation regarding social contract theory which says, humanity in nature’s state is not wretched as depicted by Hobbes but is happy and independent. Another association exists as an agreement between the society and the government in impacting the political theories (Jones 2002, p89). One may decide to vote or not to without any one questioning them. Contracts can be made to curtail natural rights to prevent warfare in its various forms, but does not eliminate all conflict. A History of Western Political Thought. Copyright © 2020 IPL.org All rights reserved. It is legitimate only if given freely to the state by its citizens and explains why the state has duties to its citizens and vice versa. S criticism of social contract has also impacted political theories as they had better understanding of political theories as were! Eventual defect of moral virtue in running a society develops, it will become necessary for greater! 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