Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government comprise critical works in the lexicon of political science theory. Both works expound on the origins and purpose of civil society and government. Hobbes’ and Locke’s writings center on the definition of the “state of nature” and the best means by which a society develops a systemic format from this beginning. The authors hold opposing views as to how man fits into the state of
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In Locke’s Treatise, the social contract binds citizens to a government which is responsible to its citizenry. If the government fails to represent the interest of its citizens, its citizens have the right and obligation to overthrow it. By contrast, Hobbes’ Leviathan refers to people as subject rather than as citizens, indicating an absence of a reciprocal relationship between the ruler and the ruled. Absolute arbitrary government invests all rights in the sovereign.