NCERT Class 9 Political Science Chapter 1: Democracy in the Contemporary World YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 9 Political Science / Polity / Civics Chapter 1: Democracy in Contemporary World

Expansion of Democracy

  • Witnessed ups and downs
  • It is unstable and has uncertain achievements
  • Making & unmaking of democracy
Table of Chile and Poland
Salvador Allende, President of Chile – govt. was overthrown by militaryRuled by Polish United Workers՚ Party in 1980 – communist party that ruled in East Europe – no other political party was allowed and people couldn՚t choose the leaders
He was leader of Socialist Party of Chile & led Popular Unity coalition to victory in 1970 – worked for poor and workersAug 14,1980 – Lenin Shipyard workers in Gdansk went to strike as crane operator and women unjustly dismissed from service; big properties were owned by govt.
Worked for educational

system, free milk for children, redistribution of land to landless farmers, opposed foreign companies

Lech Walesa electrician joined the strikers and was dismissed from service in 1976 for higher pay – leader of workers on strike, workers were raising the demand (release of political prisoners and end to censorship on press)
Opposition from landlords, rich and Church – Military coup in 1973 (led by General Augusto Pinochet) – Allende died in military attack & Pinochet became president for next 17 years – killed and tortured manyWorkers under Walesa signed 21-point agreement to end strike. For 1st time independent trade union

was formed in any communist

states in name Solidarity with 1 crore members

Govt. elected by people was overthrown by military using conspiracy and violenceGeneral Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Dec. 1981
Military dictatorship ended in 1988 after referend rum (direct vote in which entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject proposal) (Pinochet lost political power and then military power) – cowardice, felony and treason was punishedFreedom to organize, protest

and express opinions was once again taken away. Another wave in 1988 with Polish govt. weaker, Soviet Union uncertain and economy was in decline

Political freedom was restored, presidential elections are held – General Alberto Bachelet՚s daughter Michelle Bachelet was elected in 2006 (first woman to be a Defense Minister in Latin America) – she defeated Chile՚s richest menApr. 1989 witnessed free elections for 100 seats. In Oct. 1990 Poland had its 1st elections where more than one party could contest with Walesa as President

The government of Poland claimed that it was ruling on behalf of the working classes. Pinochet made no such claim and openly favored big capitalists.

People couldn՚t choose or change rules & there was no real freedom to express one՚s opinions

  • Allende (Chile) – preferred govt. control on all big industries
  • Walesa (Poland) – Market to be free from govt. interference
  • Bachelet (Chile) – Middle issue


  • Form of government that allows people to choose their rulers only leaders elected by people
  • Only leaders elected by people should rule the country
  • People have freedom to express views, organize and protest
  • Democracy expanded during 20th century
  • Democracy didn՚t spread evenly in all parts of world, there still exist nations which are not democratic
Map of Democratic Governments in 1900 - 1950
Map of Democratic Governments in 1975
Map of Democratic Governments in 2000
Map of Freedom in the World 2015


  • French Revolution (1789) – set the beginning, democracy was overthrown number of times & restored in 19th century
  • Britain – started before French Revolution but slow, in 18th & 19th century power of monarchy and feudal lords were reduced
  • British colonies in N. America got independent in 1776 & came together as USA & became democratic in 1787 (but right to vote was limited)
  • 19th Century struggle focused on political equality, freedom, and justice with right to vote
  • Right to vote – only people with property, not given to women, not allowed to blacks in USA till 1965 – hence a wave for ‘universal adult franchise’ or ‘universal suffrage’ was launched
French Revolution (1789)
  • By 1900, New Zealand – only country with all adults having right to vote
  • Early democracies were established in Europe, North America, and Latin America

End for Colonialism

  • People had to wage war for struggle
  • Many nations became democracies immediately after WW-II in 1945
  • Ghana (Gold Coast) got independence in 1957 – inspired by Kwame Nkrumah (1st PM & then president of Ghana) – he was overthrown in 1966 by military
  • Next push in democracy after 1980 – disintegration of Soviet Union, many nations got independence from Soviet Union in 1989 - 90, later in 1991 – Soviet Union broke in 15 republics
  • Pakistan and Bangladesh made transition from army to democracy in 1990s
  • In 1999, Musharraf brought back army rule & in 2005, king dismissed elected govt. in Nepal
  • 2015 – 140 nations hold multi-party elections (80 nations since 1980 made advances to democracy)
  • Myanmar – democracy in 1948 but later military coup in 1962. In 1990, elections were held for 1st time after 30 years and National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi won. She was house arrested by military (people imprisoned to 20 years) & 6 - 10 lakh people have been uprooted from homes. New parliament was convened in 2016 & Htin Kyaw was 1st non-military president since military coup of 1962. Aung San Suu Kyi (awarded NBPZ) became State Counsellor (akin to PM)

Democracy Within & between Nations

  • No government for the world, each country can have government
  • Many institutions in the world perform partially the functions of such a government


UN is a global association of nations of the world to help cooperation in international law, security, economic development, and social equity. The UN Secretary General is its chief administrative officer.

Security Council
  • UN Security Council, an organ of the UN, is responsible for maintaining peace and security among countries
  • Loans given by IMF & World Bank
  • All 193 nations of UN have 1 vote in General Assembly (Similar to Parliament where discussions take place) – meets in regular yearly sessions
  • 15-member Security Council takes crucial decisions.
  • Permanent members of UN Security Council (Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5) are the five states which the UN Charter of 1945 grants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC) : China, France, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) , UK & USA – these have real veto (council can՚t take decision, if any one country says no) power and contribute most money (mainly USA)
  • A veto gives unlimited power to stop a decision, but not to adopt one

IMF – 189 Members

  • Don՚t have equal voting rights
  • Vote of each country is weighed by how much money it has contributed to the IMF
  • More than 52 % of the voting power in the IMF is in the hands of only ten countries (US, Japan, Germany, France, UK, China, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Russia)

World Bank

  • Similar system of voting as IMF
  • President of the World Bank has always been a citizen of the US, conventionally nominated by the Treasury Secretary (Finance Minister) of the US government
  • Now do you think global institutions are democratic and each country has equal say? ? (What about Veto?)
  • Nations moving to democracy and international institutions moving away from democracy
  • 20 years back – superpowers were USA and Soviet Union, now it՚s only USA (this affects the working)
  • Give people more opportunity to come together
  • Form organizations against war
  • As in nations, it is result of struggle of the people
  • USA now takes role of democratic promotion in rest of the world – saying existing democracies must intervene in non-democratic nations
  • Powerful nations launch armed attacks on non-democratic nations
  • Iraq (W. Asia) - got independence in 1932 - later there was military coup & since 1968 - Arab Socialist Ba′ath Party ruled with Saddam Hussein as main leader. It abolished traditional Islamic law and gave women the right to vote and several freedoms not granted in other west Asian countries. After becoming president of Iraq in 1979, Saddam ran a dictatorial government and suppressed any dissent or opposition to his rule. He was known to have several political opponents killed and persons of ethnic minorities massacred
  • US and allies Britain believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons – UN didn՚t find any but US believed it had & removed Saddam Hussein from power in 2003 – this war was not authorized and Kofi Annan, UN General Secretary said it was illegal
  • Questions to ponder?
  • Should democratic nations wage war?
  • Should democratic nations invade another territory?
  • Even if external intervention leads to the establishment of democracy in a country, would it last long?
  • Use of external force to gift democracy to the people in keeping with the spirit of democracy?

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