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CAT Paragraph Summary Question 22

Question 22:

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

With the Treaty of Westphalia, the papacy had been confined to ecclesiastical functions, and the doctrine of sovereign equality reigned. What political theory could then explain the origin and justify the functions of secular political order? In his Leviathan, published in 1651, three years after the Peace of Westphalia, Thomas Hobbes provided such a theory. He imagined a “state of nature” in the past when the absence of authority produced a “war of all against all.” To escape such intolerable insecurity, he theorized, people delivered their rights to a sovereign power in return for the sovereign’s provision of security for all within the state’s border. The sovereign state’s monopoly on power was established as the only way to overcome the perpetual fear of violent death and war.

  1. Thomas Hobbes theorized the emergence of sovereign states based on a transactional relationship between people and sovereign state that was necessitated by a sense of insecurity of the people.
  2. Thomas Hobbes theorized the voluntary surrender of rights by people as essential for emergence of sovereign states.
  3. Thomas Hobbes theorized the emergence of sovereign states as a form of transactional governance to limit the power of the papacy.
  4. Thomas Hobbes theorized that sovereign states emerged out of people’s voluntary desire to overcome the sense of insecurity and establish the doctrine of sovereign equality.
Option: 1

The passage has three important keywords: sovereign equality, sense of insecurity, and what was done to overcome that insecurity. The passage tells us that people delivered their rights to a sovereign power in return for the sovereign’s provision of security. This was the only way to overcome the fear of insecurity. After all there is a give and take happening, and therefore there is a transaction. Thus 1 is the best choice. 2 misses on the people’s sense of insecurity. 3 goes out because limiting the power of papacy is not the essence of the discussion. Choice 4 misses the idea of give and take, people give their rights to the sovereign in return for his protection. It misses the crucial word “transactional relationship”.

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