An Overview of Bhutan
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Bhutan enters the 21st Century with a unique inheritance and an inherent fragility. The ongoing relationship with a deep-rooted and secluded past is such that it appears as an ancient fairytale land divorced from current circumstances. However, the country is now firmly embedded within an integrating regional and global context, which has engulfed all of its neighbors and poses significant threats to the future sovereignty and state of the nation. It is struggling to preserve its unique character as it becomes inextricably attached to a modern situation that has the tendency to consign the exotic and ethereal to legend. The following survey aims at providing a very basic account of Bhutan's contemporary condition. Sections on history, religion, environment, culture, politics, society and economy briefly describe respective aspects of the country. By no means comprehensive, these are loosely composed around three interrelated themes: the expression of the nation as an essentially traditional, coherent and autonomous realm; the identification of the present period as one of fundamental unprecedented change; and the explanation of a national mission "to embrace the many benefits of modernization without being overwhelmed by its many negative and disruptive forces … to maintain a distinct identity that is not only recognized but also respected and valued by others … to be the same while being distinctly different" (Bhutan 2020: A Vision for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness (1999:92)).

Click here to download a Survey of Bhutan - Part One
survey_bhutan_1.pdf (384 k)

Click here to download a Survey of Bhutan - Part Two
survey_bhutan_2.pdf (1 mb)

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