Home Contact Us  
Research Paper
Democracy in Bhutan: An Analysis of Constitutional Change in a Buddhist Monarchy
Marian Gallenkamp

Bhutan constitutes a striking example of path-dependency, especially with regard to the reign of the fourth king, who continuously followed his vision of transforming Bhutan’s polity. Because of the numerous particularities that come with this case study, there will be two short excurses that are worth the writing. One will be on the creation of the monarchy, which provides for astonishing similarities with the ideas of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and thus, serves as an interesting link between political realities and political philosophy. The second excurse will be on the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Again, this policy constitutes a unique feature in Bhutanese politics, as it combines cultural and traditional preservation with post-modern values. It appears that it is not GNH that complements democracy in Bhutan, but that democracy is just one part of Gross National Happiness. The last part of section two will be dedicated to the analysis of the present Bhutanese polity as stipulated by the new constitution. In the end, conclusions will be drawn from the preceding analysis to assess if Bhutan can be regarded a unique case in political science


The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2018, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.