The idea of the social contract remains a dominant metaphor within political philosophy. As much as any philosopher, JeanJacques Rousseau is responsible for that dominance-responsible even, ironically, for some of the critical strategies that have been brought to bear against it. But more than any other philosopher, Rousseau attended to the role of culture in political life. The social contract can be effective, in his view, only to the extent that it is supported by a nexus of cultural institutions and practices: that aspect of life he denotes by the term moeurs.1 For, the effect of culture is to shape the fundamental attitudes individuals bring to political cooperation, in virtue of which their cooperative efforts will fail or succeed. If culture has the wrong characteristics it produces individuals whose dispositions make cooperation unstable and uncertain. But in the best case, culture produces individuals whose dispositions promote harmonious and effective collective action. Rousseau holds, in other words, that in the best case culture makes citizens.