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34 Examples of the Social Contract

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The social contract is a conceptual framework used to model the relationship between the individual and society whereby individuals give up some freedoms in exchange for the benefits of living in an ordered society. This is the foundation for modern political systems based on constitutional law and elected governments. The following are illustrative examples of the social contract.
Constitutional freedoms
Freedom of speech
Freedom of expression
Personal sovereignty
Freedom of religion
Freedom of assembly
Right to privacy
Legal rights
Economic rights
Freedom of movement
Equal protection under the law
Right to education
Right to vote
Right to run for political office
Right to a fair trial
Protection under the law
Civic duty
Government authority
Jury duty
Census participation
Administrative requirements such as a need to register births and obtain government identification
Corporate social responsibility
Consumer protection
Environmental protection
Social safety net
Government services
Political rights
Emergency measures that override freedoms
International agreements
The obligations of people under a social contract generally include paying taxes, obeying the law and civic duty. In some cases, these obligations extend further into areas such as conscription and mandatory military service.
The benefits of society include things such as social stability, economic opportunity, protections under the law, freedoms guaranteed by constitutions, social safety net and government services such as education. In some countries, government services extend into many areas and include things such as free or low cost healthcare.
Corporations and other organizations can also be viewed as having obligations under the social contract in exchange for access to operate in a nation. For example, in order to access markets a firm must comply with environmental regulations.
The social contract gets quite complex in grey areas that feel less than democratic such as international agreements are are arguably more influenced by elites than electorates. Another area of contention is the ability of governments to suspend rights and freedoms for emergencies and what constitutes a true emergency.
Next: Examples of Society
More social theories:
Civil Society
Collective Behavior
Conflict Theory
Critical Theory
Herd Behavior
Herd Mentality
Human Agency
Power Distance
Quality Of Life
Social Cohesion
Social Constructs
Social Contract
Social Control
Social Experience
Social Fact
Social Identity
Social Imagination
Social Location
Social Needs
Social Perspectives
Social Position
Social Reality
Social Theories
Types Of Society
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