What Are the Advantages to Social Contract Theory?


Vincent White

Social Contract Theory is a political philosophy that explores the relationship between individuals and the state. It posits that individuals willingly give up certain freedoms and rights in exchange for protection and security provided by the government. This theory, first proposed by philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, has several notable advantages.

Advantage 1: Social Order and Stability

One of the primary advantages of Social Contract Theory is that it establishes social order and stability within a society. By mutually agreeing to abide by certain rules and regulations set forth by the government, individuals can coexist peacefully.

This ensures that conflicts are minimized, leading to a more harmonious society. Without a social contract, chaos would ensue, making it difficult for people to live together peacefully.

Advantage 2: Protection of Individual Rights

Social Contract Theory also protects individual rights. By surrendering some freedoms, individuals gain collective protection from external threats such as violence or invasion.

The government acts as an enforcer of laws that safeguard personal liberties and property rights. This protection allows individuals to pursue their goals and ambitions without fear of harm or infringement on their rights.

Advantage 3: Promotion of Common Good

Another advantage of Social Contract Theory is its emphasis on the common good. The theory suggests that decisions made by the government should benefit society as a whole rather than just a select few.

The principles of fairness and equality are essential components of this theory, ensuring that resources are distributed equitably among citizens. This promotes social justice and fosters a sense of community within society.

Advantage 4: Legitimacy of Government Authority

Social Contract Theory provides legitimacy to governmental authority. When individuals willingly enter into a social contract, they acknowledge the authority of the government to make and enforce laws.

This legitimacy is crucial because it allows governments to create and implement policies that benefit society. It also provides a framework for citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions.

Advantage 5: Flexibility and Adaptability

Social Contract Theory is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. As societal needs evolve, the social contract can be revised and updated to address new challenges.

This flexibility allows for the incorporation of new ideas, values, and beliefs into the governance structure. The ability to adapt ensures that the social contract remains relevant and effective in different contexts.


In conclusion, Social Contract Theory offers several advantages that contribute to a functional society. It establishes social order, protects individual rights, promotes the common good, provides legitimacy to government authority, and allows for flexibility and adaptability.

By understanding these advantages, we can appreciate the significance of Social Contract Theory in shaping our political systems.