The Social Contract is a 1762 work of political philosophy by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. As a follow-up to his Discourse on Inequality, which examined the sources of inequality and suffering occurring in civilized society, here Rousseau examines the question of what government bests allow people to live in freedom and harmony. Rousseau argues that a social contract, individuals' free submission to certain rules and societal compromises, must be the basis of any political system. Examining various governments, Rousseau argues that small city-states governed by an elected aristocracy allow the most freedom.

Summary of The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Below is a list of The Social Contract Cliff Notes and The Social Contract SparkNotes. Not looking for a The Social Contract summary? Search above for 5000 other chapter summaries, curated from popular sites like SparkNotes and Cliff Notes.

The Social Contract Chapter Summaries (Free)


Review: The most popular website for book notes. SparkNotes was created by students for students, and their summaries are accessible and extremely well-written. Besides the usual plot overview, chapter summaries, and character analysis, SparkNotes differentiates itself with a section discussing themes, motifs, and symbols.