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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 - Rousseau Social Contract II

Political Science
Course Code
Stefan Dolgert

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Lecture 11
Rousseau (Social Contract II)
Rousseau says you want citizens who will want and act for the greater/common good rather than
individual win/loss
Instead of being mad about losing a position/designation one wants (winning an election or being
selected as a warr ior) one will be happy that the state has found someone better/more qualified
FINAL Compare Rousseaus theoretical framework with the specific features that he notes of the
Roman Republic (3 or 4 sections in the final book of the Social Contract). Some of the things he says
seems to be wit h intention of what he says about this theoretical framework. Look at the examples he uses
about the Roman Republic and see if they backup his ideas. Is there a contradiction?
1) Definitions
i) State/Sovereign
ii) Prince/Government
iii) Democracy/Aristocracy/Monarchy
The State and the Sovereign are the whole of the people (they mean the same thing but from
different perspectives)
The Sovereign is when people are acting within their capabilities to enact legislation
When they are passive, they are the State acting as subjects
All people are both of these
Also means that each person has to obey the laws that are being crafted
The government is, very specifically, any part that does NOT have to do with legislature
The government is the executive branch
It is a smaller body of the people who are tasked with executing and administering the rules and
laws the Sovereign has legislated
They do not have any independent author ity their authority comes from the people who choose
the governor s; essentially they are agents
The Prince is the specific term of the individual who is doing the job of the government at any
one time; it can be one person, 100 people or 500 people; they are the SPECIFIC agent acting as
They change overt ime
Rousseau only refers to the government
A democracy is when all of the people are also all of the officials. Every single person who is
voting in the elections are also part of the government (everyone has government jobs)
Rousseau says democracy is not entirely possible
The Sovereign is close to democracy
Aristocracy Rousseau thinks its the best suitable government; you want the government and
governors to be selected for their talents
oThey must be more competent and more capable than the average citizen
oChoosing the best
Monarchy people still buy into the social contract and make laws, etc.
oBut the King is the only administrator/government
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