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Any of various theories that justify moral principles or political arrangements by appealing to a social contract that is voluntarily committed to under ideal conditions for such commitment. Also called contractualism.

con′trac·tar′i·an adj.
con′trac·tar′i·an·ist adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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Hayek agrees with Rawls that we cannot use contractarian principles to evaluate particular economic outcomes, and he supports Rawls's attempt to identify the general principles that should govern social systems (Hayek 1978, 100).
The dominance of the contractarian view of the corporation has
Morals and Consent: Contractarian Solutions to Ethical Woes.
Early modern theory is dominated by the contractarian model, a consensualist approach which revives in the 20th century under the liberal-democratic schema of John Rawls.
But Mounk notices what many have overlooked: Rawls's contractarian understanding of society enabled him to retrieve through the back door much of what he had expelled through the front.
(49) The manifestly unreasonable standard presents a "middle ground" between "the strictly contractarian approach of Delaware and the 'fiduciarian' approach of ULLCA." (50) As pointed out by one knowledgeable commentator, the manifestly unreasonable standard, presents issues because of its amorphous nature.
The contractual freedom "contractarian" approach is built on
He has written a scholarly work on corporate governance that focuses on how neoclassical economics (in its postwar advocacy of contractarian legal theory) has been irreconcilable with the corpus of legal scholarship (i.e., in corporate law), while also marginalizing management theory, thus ignoring both as competing causal theories that underpin corporate governance of the modern firm.
In the 1980s and 1990s, he made his mark as a scholar by challenging the contractarian approach to corporate law, viewing this legal-intellectual innovation as a threat to the protection of shareholders.
Locating the Oppression Action within a Contractarian Framework A.
Much of the literature on the creation of corporate governance is premised on a contractarian model of the firm, according to which governance mechanisms reflect the terms of a bargain struck between investors and managers.
But if staff come to view their work in increasingly contractarian terms, as may well be the case if they are increasingly working for private providers, and they become more motivated by pay than by the more vocational motivators of caring for people, then we might expect them to be less prepared to make the extra effort they presently go to.