Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss-born French philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century who, literally, wrote the book on the Social Contract. He is notable for his influential theory of government and romantic liberalism.

Civil Religion

“Civil Religion” is the civic “religion” of a nation. It doesn’t describe the theological religion of a nation, but rather a quasi-religious shared identity built around national symbolism and customs.

What is the General Will?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s concept of the General Will roughly means “that which is in the best interest of the people” or “the public good”, and not just popular consensus.