Bhutan's Experience and Challenges with Democracy

Lecture by Dr. Sonam Kinga, Chairperson of the National Council of the Parliament of Bhutan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Charles E. Young Research Library Presentation Room

In 2008, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced parliamentary democracy in the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan after 100 years of monarchy. This historic political change was not a consequence of external pressure, internal uprising or crisis of monarch's legitimacy. It happened at a time of great peace and at the height of monarch's success and popularity, a time when regime change is most unlikely to happen!

In the early years there were questions about the wisdom of these changes. Nine years into parliamentary democracy, however, the Bhutanese are engaged less with the question of whether the introduction of democracy has been wise. The concerns are more about deepening democracy as a means of harmonizing national goals of long-term survival and individual pursuit of happiness and well-being.

Sponsor(s): Center for Buddhist Studies, Center for India and South Asia, Program on Central Asia, Anthropology