Update
The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Dismiss

View:

Overview

contract, social

Subject: Philosophy

The imaginary device through which equally imaginary individuals, living in solitude (or, perhaps, in nuclear families), without government, without a stable division of labour or ...

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Gender Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology, Politics
Length:
103 words

...social contract The notion that in order for a society to function there has to be an informal agreement between people about their rights and obligations in relation to each other. French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ( 1712–1778 ) Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men ( 1754 ) is a classic of contract theory. In The Sexual Contract ( 1988 ) British feminist political scientist Carole Pateman critiqued the notion of the social contract for its failure to take into account inequalities between women and men which underlie the...

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

Andrew Reeve

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
161 words

... contract A contract between persons in a pre-political or pre-social condition specifying the terms upon which they are prepared to enter society or submit to political authority. For many authors, the social contract ‘explained’ or illuminated a transition from a state of nature to a social and/or political existence. The ‘terms’ of such a contract depend for their plausibility upon the depiction of the gains and losses of such a transition, and thus upon the plausibility of the depiction of the state of nature. Adherents of social contract theory need...

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
50 words

... contract Concept that society is based on the surrender of natural freedoms by the individual to the organized group or state in exchange for personal security. It can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and was developed by Hobbes , Locke , and by Rousseau in The Social Contract ( 1762...

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
247 words

... contract A basis for legitimate legal and political power in the idea of a contract. Contracts are things that create obligations, hence if we can view society as organized ‘as if’ a contract had been formed between the citizen and the sovereign power, this will ground the nature of the obligations of each to the other. This form of theory is prominent in Hobbes . In Locke and Rousseau the idea becomes one of a contract between citizens, as a result of which power is vested in government, rather than that of a contract between citizen and sovereign....

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
205 words

... contract A theory of social order that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, although the idea goes back to Plato. The social contract is an unwritten agreement between the state and its citizens, in which the relative rights and duties of each are expressed. Thomas Hobbes , John Locke , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau propounded three of the most famous contracts, each describing an ideal rather than a real distribution of power. Hobbes argued that security and order could only be achieved by a contract in which all citizens would give up all their...

social contract

social contract   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...social contract A term dating to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes ( 1588–1679 ) and made explicit by Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( 1712–78 ) that describes the desirable and usually mutually accepted forms of interaction among individuals and groups in their social environment. Modern political philosophers give the term a particular meaning: an unwritten agreement regarding rights and responsibilities between a state and its citizens. ...

Social Contract

Social Contract   Reference library

The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
621 words

... Contract Arguments in which agreements are used to ground moral or political obligation are as old as political philosophy itself, appearing in Plato's Crito and in the second book of his Republic . The golden age of social contract theory, however, is the period circa 1640–1800 , and the two major British social contract philosophers are Thomas Hobbes and John Locke . The core argument of social contract theory is that political authority is artificial, grounded in the agreement of rational, free and equal individuals. Arguments commonly begin...

social contract

social contract   Reference library

Nick Spencer

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
94 words

... contract A theory maintaining that the legitimacy of political authority rests primarily on a contract made, explicitly or implicitly, by the inhabitants of a territory. Individuals agree to come together and surrender certain freedoms to a ruler in return for security and rights. The phrase derives from its best-known advocate, Rousseau , and his 1762 Du contrat social , although the idea has many precedents (e.g. Hobbes ’s Leviathan ), and has also endured, forming the theoretical foundation of influential 20th -cent. works like John Rawls’s Theory...

contract, social

contract, social   Reference library

Michael Walzer

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
632 words

...and in principle open to remaking. Mixed metaphors of design and structure replace the metaphor of the body. Hobbes first suggests the twofold character of contract theory when he writes that man is both the ‘maker’ and the ‘matter’ of the commonwealth. He is the maker because the social contract depends upon his willing agreement, and he is the matter because the content of the contract, the social and political arrangements it establishes, are designed (by whom?) to shape and control his behaviour. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's version of the argument is...

Social Contract

Social Contract   Reference library

Mark Hulliung

The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...of revolution but of resistance to an overbearing government, and Pufendorf could be revised to satisfy their program. In the version of the social contract theory articulated by Pufendorf there were two contracts, a social contract or contract of association and a political contract or contract of submission. Whereas Pufendorf understood his second contract as a capitulation of society to the governing authority, his readers in Great Britain and British America stressed the obligation of the rulers to the ruled. Among the colonists the works of the 1730s by...

social-contract theory

social-contract theory   Reference library

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
606 words

...-contract theory A tradition of political theory concerned with understanding the relationship between individuals and the state — conceived as a “social contract”—as well as the basis and limits of legitimate state power. Its classic formulations are those of Thomas Hobbes , John Locke , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau —although a number of its themes extend back to ancient Greek political thought and forward into nineteenth- and twentieth-century versions of liberalism . Early social-contract theories focused on explaining the origins of society—generally...

social contract theory

social contract theory   Reference library

Australian Law Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Law
Length:
181 words

...social contract theory The idea that the collective nature of society, as something more than just the individuals within it, derives from an implied contract between its members to submit to the authority of the state, exchanging absolute individual freedom for social benefits. The state embodies the collectively given authority. The underlying metaphor is organicism; the whole is more than the sum of its parts, but the parts make up the whole, and the whole depends on the willingness of the parts to contract with each other and the whole to function...

Journalism’s Social Contract

Journalism’s Social Contract   Reference library

Helle Sjøvaag

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
6,953 words

...is not attainable for the average individual. Neither is access to the opinions of others. Journalism’s social contract is therefore a metaphor for the political role of the press. As such, the contract metaphor is a borrowed discourse, one whose ideal content can be traced to classic contract theory, which conceptualizes the relationship between the citizen and the state in moral and political terms ( Sjøvaag, 2010 ). Contract Theories Social contract theories in political philosophy engage in questions regarding the basic components of the citizen-state...

International Ethics within the International Social Contract

International Ethics within the International Social Contract   Reference library

Amy E. Eckert

The International Studies Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics, Warfare and Defence
Length:
9,851 words

...the international system influenced modern social contract work, particularly Rawls’s account of the international social contract. The Rebirth of the Social Contract Tradition Rawls is widely credited with resurrecting the social contract tradition in the twentieth century. Rawls’s thought holds special significance for the international social contract, as he extends the contractual approach ethics into the international system where his predecessors declined to do so. This extension of the social contract tradition into the international system...

Theoretical Underpinnings of a Global Social Contract

Theoretical Underpinnings of a Global Social Contract   Reference library

Takashi Inoguchi

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
6,099 words

...Underpinnings of a Global Social Contract Introduction Presented here are some theoretical underpinnings of modeling a global social contract with two data sets—the World Values Survey and the Multilateral Conventions Survey. Social contract theory is most prominently and perennially associated with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke. Rousseau’s Social Contract and Locke’s Two Treaties of Government were penned from quite contrasting angles. The social contract is formed between the ruler and the ruled, between the state and citizens. Rousseau...

Tax, Politics, and the Social Contract in Africa

Tax, Politics, and the Social Contract in Africa   Reference library

Wilson Prichard

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
10,764 words
Illustration(s):
3

...to forcibly extract revenue from their citizens, while the distribution of tax burdens and public spending is at the very heart of the relationship between states and societies. Tax systems embody public priorities and the broader social contract, leading a growing group of scholars to embrace the terminology of “fiscal contracts” around taxation and spending ( Timmons, 2005 ). Joseph Schumpeter ( [1918] 1991 , p. 101), an early pioneer in the subfield known as fiscal sociology, has written that “public finances are one of the best starting points for an...

Social Contract

Social Contract   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...the document entitled Labour's Programme : We say that what Britain needs is a new Social Contract. That is what this document is all about. When Labour came to power in 1974 it proceeded to repeal anti-union legislation and introduced such measures as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 , and the Employment Protection Acts 1975 and 1978 . The Social Contract came apart in 1978 when a wave of public-sector strikes ushered in the Winter of discontent...

social contract

social contract noun   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
87 words
social contract

social contract noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
89 words
social contract

social contract noun   Reference library

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
29 words

View: