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What are the strengths and weaknesses of Social Contract Theory - Essay Example

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of Social Contract Theory

It is through the belief in this contract that many states today have come to be formed, and this mainly through the development of constitutions. The social contract theory recognizes that individuals have their own natural rights some of which they surrender to their governments so that the latter can protect their remaining rights. This paper seeks to show that while the social contract theory has many strengths, it also have various weaknesses, both of which will be addressed.
The social contract theory is one which attempts to bring order to the society through the recognition of the rights and duties of individuals and states towards each other. This recognition allows for the development of a constitution which helps in the formulation of laws the protect the rights of individuals while at the same time making it possible for people within the society to recognize their responsibilities not only to the state, but also towards one another (Rousseau, 1762). It is through this recognition that it becomes possible for the government to enforce its authority over the society within its territory and this helps it to protect the individuals living within it. This theory can be considered to be a guideline for governments on how they can handle their responsibilities towards their people, for example, the provision of security as well as ensuring that their people are able to exercise their freedoms without any prejudice. It also recognizes that there are certain situations where individual rights have to be put aside in favor of the good of society especially in situations where individuals are required to pay taxes in order to help the government to fulfill its obligations. Without the social contract, it would be impossible for there to be order in society because individuals would insist on retaining all of their rights and this would cause the development of conflict between them because each would demand that their ...Show more
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The social contract is one of the most significant political theories as a result of its standing for the rights and duties of individuals within a state. It is essential to note that this theory was developed during the Enlightenment period when writers such as John Locke and…
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