Once a government establishes authority, how does it keep it? How does it continue to govern? In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau argues that the division of power in a government eventually goes out of balance, making the state vulnerable to collapse. However, a government can maintain its legitimacy by establishing certain systems: public assemblies, public unity, and supreme powers. Keep reading for Rousseau’s view on the preservation of political legitimacy.
What are the two branches of government discussed in Rousseau’s The Social Contract? What are their different roles? In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau explains that a government is needed to run the day-to-day operations of a state. He divides government into two branches: legislative and executive. Here’s his discussion of the difference between the legislative and executive branches of government.
What’s Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s social contract theory? How is it different from the social contract theories of other philosophers? Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theory of the social contract is similar to theories used by other enlightenment scholars such as Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) and John Locke (Two Treatises of Government). However, there are a few major differences that determine each philosopher’s conclusion as to what makes a state legitimate. Keep reading to learn about Rousseau’s social contract theory and how it’s different.
What are the challenges of democracy? Why does democracy make it harder to exercise a freedom-based approach to economic development? According to Amartya Sen in Development as Freedom, one of the ways to approach poverty as a social problem is to implement democracy and capitalism. However, he does understand that the few challenges of democracy can get in the way of that. Read more to understand the challenges of democracy and why Sen is still hopeful we can overcome them to create stable economies.
Can there be a legitimate society? If so, what would it look like? These are the questions that Jean-Jacques Rousseau attempts to answer in The Social Contract. In this classic work, the 18th-century Swiss philosopher discusses political legitimacy, or the ethical right to exercise political authority by creating and enforcing laws. Continue reading for a brief overview of The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
What was the Great Famine? What could have prevented the Irish potato famine? Between 1845 and 1849, Ireland experienced mass starvation and disease after most potato crops got infected. Amartya Sen uses the example of England’s lack of support during the potato famine to demonstrate how easy it is to prevent famines. Keep reading to learn what could have prevented the potato famine and how famines can be prevented today.
What causes a mass food shortage? Are famines easy to prevent? In Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen says that all famines are avoidable. While it’s commonly assumed famines are caused by an imbalance between population and food supply, it’s actually a result of government failure. Read more to know how to prevent famine through government intervention and assistance.
What was China’s one-child policy? How did the one-child policy affect China? Between 1980 and 2016, China had a one-child policy designed to combat overpopulation by limiting families to having one child. The policy restricted women’s rights, caused higher child mortality rates, and led to more crime in the nation. Continue reading to learn more about the impact of China’s one-child policy, according to Amartya Sen in Development as Freedom.
What’s the Lee thesis? Why does it claim that authoritarianism helps poor nations better than democracy does? Amartya Sen claims in Development as Freedom that democracy is the solution to helping poor economies, but the Lee thesis states otherwise. The thesis states that authoritarianism eradicates poverty because of a focus on economic development rather than freedom. Let’s look at what Sen has to say about the Lee thesis and whether authoritarianism really is the answer to economic prosperity.
What’s the relationship between democracy and economic growth? Does democracy have a direct effect on the growth of a nation’s economy? Policymakers around the world are conflicted on the role democracy plays in economic growth. Amartya Sen, author of Development as Freedom, says that the key to helping poor economies thrive is to implement a democracy into their government. Let’s look at Sen’s argument that supports establishing democracies in underdeveloped nations—and why some people disagree with him.