The Latest on Bhutan Research
Dorji, Kunkhen (2013), 'Bhutan Elections 2013: A Difficult Road Ahead?', IPCS Article, No. 3894, April 2013. Click here to view the full-text-article. Abstract: The upcoming general elections in Bhutan will see many new faces at the grass root level, but the same cannot be said about their party’s leadership who have served Bhutan in many distinguished fields. The Opposition are quite critical about the first elected government of Bhutan, but are not able to provide a good alternative model as a solution to the many domestic and foreign policy related matters affecting the country today. Will this election see new faces, or the victory [more]
Chowdhury, Iftekhar Ahmed (2012), 'Bhutan: Shades of ‘Shangri-La’ in a Haven of ‘Happiness’', ISAS Insights, No. 163, May 2012. Click here to download the full-text-article. Abstract: Bhutan conjures up in the mind’s eye idyllic images of a ‘Shangri-La’. In line with this fairy tale perception, it has sought to propagate the concept of Gross National Happiness as a serious index for measuring development. However, there is today a realization in that country that idea-label needs to be matched by performance. Changes are afoot in its politics, economics, and international relations. Cautious reforms on these fronts including modernizing initiatives are rapidly rendering this tiny Kingdom [more]
On this page you can find the official press release of the Election Commission declaring the results of the National Council Election 2013 as well as a detailed table for the results in all the 20 [more]
Below you can find a collection of post-election news and analysis published by Kuensel Online, BBS, Bhutan Observer and The [more]
Below you can find a collection of news reports from Kuensel Online, BBS, Bhutan Observer and The Bhutanese on the election results in the different [more]
Below you can find a collection of news reports from the pre-election period published by Kuensel Online, BBS, Bhutan Observer and The [more]
Santos, Maria Emma (2013), 'Tracking Poverty Reduction in Bhutan: Income Deprivation Alongside Deprivation in Other Sources of Happiness', in Social Indicators Research, Vol. 112, No. 2, pp. 259-290. Abstract: This paper analyses poverty reduction in Bhutan between two points in time—2003 and 2007—from a multidimensional perspective. The measures estimated include consumption expenditure as well as other indicators which are directly (when possible) or indirectly associated to valuable functionings, namely, health, education, access to electricity, safe water, improved sanitation, enough room per person in dwelling, access to roads and land ownership. Interestingly, most of these indicators have been identified as sources of happiness in [more]
Joseph, Mathew C. (2012), 'China-South Asia Strategic Engagements - 2: Bhutan-China Relations', ISAS Working Paper No 157. Click here to read the full-text-article. Abstract: Geographic location plays an important role in determining the foreign policy choices of countries. This is invariably true despite the size and resources available to countries. Countries which are fortunate to have access to seas are distinct in many ways from the landlocked states in this regard. If the state is landlocked, small in size and not so rich in terms of resources, the fate of such a state would be all the more precarious. Bhutan belongs to the afore-mentioned [more]
Gallenkamp, Marian (2013), 'India – Bhutan Relations and the Rising Chinese Influence', in The Diplomatist, No. 3, 2013. Click here to download the full article. Abstract: About a year ago, I described the bilateral relationship between India and Bhutan as being a truly exceptional example of how mutually beneficial cooperation is possible between two countries that dispose of starkly different power resources. Bearing in mind that the two nations' intimate ties stem from historical friendship, geopolitical as well as socio-economic realities, and a genuine tradition of cooperation and respect for each other's needs and concerns, one is inclined to hold my previous remarks [more]
Bisht, Medha (2012), 'The Rupee Crunch and India- Bhutan Economic Engagement', IDSA Issue Brief, 16 July 2012. Click here to download the full article. Abstract: The rupee-crunch in Bhutan may be a purely domestic issue occasioned by poor fiscal policies and mismanagement of economic affairs. However, there is a strong view gaining ground among the Bhutanese that it is primarily caused by their economic dependence on India, sustained by growing economic ties between the two countries. It is, therefore, important to understand the geographical constraints, the limits of the political economy in Bhutan, and the causes of growing Bhutanese disillusionment about ties with [more]
Bhutan Research is a website dedicated to the study of politics and democracy in Bhutan, one of the world’s most fascinating and yet scientifically so much neglected countries.
For most of the past decades, the Kingdom of Bhutan has been ignored by students and scholars of political science alike, resulting in a critical lack of knowledge, understanding and proper analysis of this particular case. However, Bhutan has much to contribute to the scientific debate, not only since its astonishing and unique transition to democracy in 2008. It raises many questions relating to some of the most important discourses in political science ranging from concepts of national identity, to development approaches, to the ideas about the very form and nature of democracy itself, to name only a few.
More research on Bhutan is needed to provide a better understanding of its politics and institutions, but also to broaden the view with regard to more general issues of mainstream political science.