International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Comparative Studies | Political Science | India | Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023

Comparative Examination of Social Contract Theories: Insights from Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau

Lokpa Tamang

Abstract: The social contract theory is a political philosophy that explains the origin and legitimacy of the state and the rights and obligations of its citizens. The theory is based on the idea that individuals voluntarily agree to form a society and a government that can protect their natural rights and interests. The social contract theory has been developed by various thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean - Jacques Rousseau, who have different views on the state of nature, the government formation, and the individual rights. This paper aims to compare and contrast the social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. The paper argues that while Hobbes provides a realistic account of human nature and the need for a strong sovereign, he fails to justify the absolute power of the sovereign and the loss of individual liberty. Locke, on the other hand, offers a more balanced view of human nature and the government, but he does not adequately address the problem of consent and representation. Rousseau, finally, proposes a radical vision of democracy and equality, but he overlooks the practical difficulties and dangers of his ideal society. The paper concludes that the social contract theory is a useful framework for understanding the political order, but it also has some limitations and challenges that need to be addressed.

Keywords: social contract theory, State of Nature, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau

Edition: Volume 12 Issue 7, July 2023,

Pages: 1959 - 1964

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