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Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes - Social Studies (SST) Class 10

How do We Assess Democracy's Outcomes?

Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10

Why is Democracy considered Better?

  • It promotes equality among citizens.
  • It recognises and enhances the dignity of the individual.
  • Improves the quality of decision making.
  • Provides a method to resolve conflicts.
  • Allows room to correct mistakes.

Three Aspects of Democracy

  • Political: Political democracy requires government by 'consent’ and political equality.
  • Social: This requires social equality in the country poverty line.
  • Economic: There should be no disparity - very rich class of a few and a majority living under the poverty line.

 Other Features of a Democracy

  • Free and Fair Elections
  • Multi-party System
  • Adult Franchise
  • Social Equality
  • Sound Political System
  • Freedom of Speech, Expression and Public Opinion
  • A Strong Opposition

Over a hundred countries follow the democratic form of government. There are many features of democracy common to all but there are differences in social situations, achievements and cultures.
Example: In the USA — the world’s richest democracy, there is a wide gap between the rich, the poor. The Blacks do not get social justice. But at the same time, the United States of America, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland have the most stable democratic systems in the world. They have welfare schemes for all and a hundred per cent literacy.

Let us now think about what we can expect reasonably from democracy and examine the record of democracy.

Accountable, Responsive and Legitimate Government

In a democracy, there must be a government which is accountable to the citizens and responsive to the needs and expectations of the citizens. It should be efficient and effective.
Democratic governments are based on the idea of deliberation and negotiation, so delays take place.

Does that make the Democratic Government Inefficient?

Non-democratic governments do not have to bother about discussions in assemblies. They do not worry about public opinion. They are very quick in decision making and implementation.

Are Non-democratic Governments more Efficient?

  • In the first instance, it has taken time, followed all procedures and then come to a decision. Result: More acceptable to the people, more effective.
  • In the second instance, let us consider the costs involved. Quick decisions may not with the approval of the majority of people. Result: Problems

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Points in Favour of Democracies

  • Decision-making is based on norms and procedures.
  • Transparency — a citizen has the right and the means to examine a decision-making process.
  • Government is accountable to the people and has a mechanism to hold a government accountable.
  • It has a mechanism for citizens to take part in decision-making.
    Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10

Points against Democracy as a form of Government

  • Transparency rights and means to examine the decision-making process are missing.
  • Government is not accountable.
  • No mechanisms to hold it accountable.
  • Decision making not based on norms and procedures.

Democracies have been Successful in Holding:

  • Regular and free elections
  • Creating conditions for open public debate

Democracies have fallen short of:

  • Holding elections that provide a fair chance to everyone.
  • Every decision is not brought forward for in a public debate.
  • They do not have a very good record in sharing information with citizens.
  • Democracies have not been free of corruption and have not been attentive to people’s needs and expectations.
  • In one respect, a democratic government is certainly better than a non-democratic one. It is a legitimate Government. It is a people’s own government. This is the main reason for its popularity. People all over the world want to be ruled by representatives elected by them.

Economic Growth and Development

  • One of the failures of democracy is that it lags behind dictatorships in economic growth.
  • Economic growth depends on the:
    i) Size of the population of a country
    ii) Global situation
    iii) Co-operation from other countries
    iv) Economic policies adopted by the country

    Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10

Economic Outcomes of Democracy

The following points show the relationship of democracy with economic growth and economic inequalities.

  • The dictatorial regime has had a slightly better record of economic growth. But when we compare their record only in poor countries, there is virtually no difference.
  • There can be a very high degree of inequalities within democracies.
  • There is often inequality of opportunities available to the poorer sections of society.

Reduction of Inequality and Poverty

Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10

The truth is that what is needed is the removal of economic disparities. Development without equitable distribution of wealth is not a true democracy. Democracies are based on political equality. All citizens have equal weight in electing representatives.
But it is not so in the economic field. The poor are becoming poorer and sometimes they find it difficult to meet the basic needs of life like food, clothing, higher education and health. Democratic governments have failed in this area. In India, this is indicated by:

  • Percentage of population below the poverty line in India
  • The Human Development Index will show where India stands in the world as far as health, education and income are concerned.

Accommodation of Social Diversity

Democracy tries to help its citizens to lead a peaceful and harmonious life by accommodating various social divisions.
Example: Belgium and India. Democratic governments try to resolve differences, respect differences and try mechanisms which can negotiate differences.

Democracy’s Plus Point:

The ability to handle social differences, divisions and reduce conflicts. Non-democratic regimes can ignore or suppress internal and social differences.
Precaution is needed to see that the majority always works with the minority and does not try to dominate it. Sri Lanka is an example. Majority rule means different people, different groups participate in decision-making. It does not mean the rule of the majority community— a religious, racial or linguistic group.
No one should be barred from being in a majority group on the basis of birth. Every citizen should have a chance to be in a majority at some time.

Dignity and Freedom of the Citizens

  • Democracy promotes the dignity and freedom of the individual.
  • Every individual wants to receive respect from fellow beings.
  • Democracies have achieved this to a certain degree in many countries.

Dignity of Women:

  • Women had to fight long battles to receive their due in society.
  • Societies across the world have been male-dominated. It is absolutely essential that women should get equal treatment.
  • Women can now wage a struggle against what is now unacceptable legally and morally. In a non-democratic setup, women would not have a legal basis to fight for equality.
  • Societies across the world have been male-dominated. It is absolutely essential that women should get equal treatment.
  • Of course, women still have to struggle. They are not always given their due respect even in democracies.

Caste Inequalities:

  • In India, the disadvantaged and discriminated castes have gained in strength due to democracy. 
  • They have now the legal and moral right to fight for equal status and equal opportunities. 
  • There are still instances of atrocities and inequalities suffered by people because of caste, but they are not supported by law or moral code.

A democracy is always striving towards a better goal. People constantly demand more benefits in a democracy. There are always more expectations.
People now look critically at the work of those who hold power, the rich, the powerful. They express their dissatisfaction loudly. It shows they are no longer subjects but citizens of a democratic country.

The document Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10 is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes - Social Studies (SST) Class 10

1. What are the outcomes of democracy?
Ans. The outcomes of democracy can be assessed in terms of accountable, responsive and legitimate government, economic growth and development, economic outcomes of democracy, and dignity and freedom of the citizens.
2. What is accountable, responsive and legitimate government in democracy?
Ans. Accountable, responsive and legitimate government is one of the outcomes of democracy. It means that the government is responsible and accountable to the citizens, responsive to their needs and concerns, and legitimate in their exercise of power.
3. How does democracy contribute to economic growth and development?
Ans. Democracy contributes to economic growth and development by promoting a stable political environment, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and providing a framework for the rule of law, property rights, and market competition.
4. What are the economic outcomes of democracy?
Ans. The economic outcomes of democracy include higher levels of economic growth and development, greater income equality, reduced poverty, and improved standards of living for citizens.
5. How does democracy protect the dignity and freedom of citizens?
Ans. Democracy protects the dignity and freedom of citizens by guaranteeing their civil and political rights, such as freedom of speech, assembly, and religion, and by providing a framework for the rule of law, human rights, and social justice.
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Outcomes of Democracy Chapter Notes | Social Studies (SST) Class 10