Philip Pettit (1945) argued in Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government (1997) that the theory of the social contract, which is classically based on the approval of the governed, should be modified. Instead of arguing for explicit consent that can always be produced, Pettit argues that the absence of effective rebellion against it is the only legitimacy of a treaty. The level at which the purpose of the contract is described may influence the outcome of the agreement. „A striking feature of The Hobbes View,“ says Hardin, „is that it is a relative assessment of the entire states. Living in a form of government against life under anarchy“ (2003, 43). Hobbes could plausibly say that everyone would approve of the social contract, because „life under government“ is better from the point of view of all than „life under anarchy“ (the starting condition). However, if a Hobbesian tried to divide the contract into, say, more precise agreements on the various functions of government, she is inclined to find that an agreement would not be reached in many functions. As we „zoom in“ (Lister, 2010) on more government fine-grain functions, the contract is likely to become more limited. If the parties simply ask themselves whether government is better than anarchy, they will choose almost all governments (including, say, a government that funds the arts); if they are wondering if they want a government that funds the arts or a government that does not, it is easy to see how they cannot agree on the first one. Similarly, when the parties reflect on whole moral codes, there may be a broad consensus that all moral codes as a whole are in the interests of all; If we „expand“ certain rights and duties, we are inclined to get a very different answer. An empirical approach follows Schelling`s (1960) work on the theory of negotiations and games, looking at how real people negotiate and reach an agreement. Pioneers of experimental economics used laboratory experiments to study how subjects behaved in cases of divisional problems (Hoffman et al.
2000, Smith, 2003). Some of the most interesting results came, perhaps surprisingly, from asymmetrical trading games like the ultimatum game (Smith 1982). Since these initial experiments, important experimental work has been carried out on negotiation problems and cooperation agreements in the economy. Much of the most philosophically relevant work involves the importance of social norms and conventions in determining the outcome (Bicchieri 2016, Vanderschraaf shortly). But these arguments were based on a corporatist theory of Roman law, according to which „a populus“ can exist as an autonomous legal entity.