Development Challenges in Bhutan

Perspectives on Inequality and Gross National Happiness

  • Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt

Part of the Contemporary South Asian Studies book series (CSAS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Comparing Bhutan’s Development Trajectories

  3. GNH, Equality and Inclusion/Exclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-47
    2. Winnie Bothe
      Pages 49-68
  4. Culture, Legal Issues and the Politics of Change

  5. Governance and Integration

  6. Health, Food and Disparities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 203-203
    2. Johannes Dragsbaek Schmidt, Line Kikkenborg Christensen
      Pages 235-256
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 257-263

About this book


This book provides essential insights into Bhutan’s developmental challenges. It analyzes and scrutinizes the sovereign state’s developmental approach, including the idea of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which has replaced Gross National Product (GNP) as a measurement of prosperity. The authors also explore and deconstruct ideational and cultural aspects of knowledge production and present a critical overall assessment of the political economy of education policy, health, ICT and migration in Bhutan. 
The book is divided into five parts all taking a critical approach towards inequality: Part one offers an assessment of Bhutan’s developmental trajectories; part two deals with GNH, equality and inclusion versus exclusion; part three is devoted to culture, legal issues and the politics of change; and part four to governance and integration; section five addresses health, food and disparities. This book will appeal to all scholars of South Asian affairs and development studies, as well as to diplomats and professionals involved in development aid.


Bhutan Gross National Happiness GNH Bhutan’s development challenges South Asia Himalaya Inequality

Editors and affiliations

  • Johannes Dragsbæk Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Bibliographic information