Gara LaMarche: “Is Anyone Alien from the Social Contract?”

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What Do We Owe Each Other?: Rights and Obligations in Contemporary American Society |

by Gara LaMarche In considering the question “What Do We Owe Each Other?,” emphasis is usually placed on the “what” part of the social contract: does it contain goods and benefits like education, pensions, health care, or perhaps less tangible things, like tolerance and civility? Not so often discussed is the question of “who” is party to the social contract. It is my intention to do that, and to focus in particular on the word at the opposite end of the question, that is, “Other.” Whatever our obligations to those who live in other parts of the world, what are our obligations when they reside here, either legally or illegally? To read the full excerpt, download the PDF below. This excerpt is part of What Do We Owe Each Other?: Rights and Obligations in Contemporary American Society, Eds. Howard L. Rosenthal and David J. Rothman, Transaction Publishers, 2008. Reprinted with permission. This piece was also printed in the journal Society (Volume 44, Number 5 / September, 2007), and copies may be purchased here.

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