Thursday, April 9, 2009
And another thing ... Back to Bhutan
I recently had an article (with Debbie Blackman) published in Public Administration and Development, which looks at civil service reform in Bhutan. Debbie and I visited Bhutan together in 2007 and have both returned (separately) in 2008 to work with civil servants there. Despite the remarkable changes going on in Bhutan in recent times there is remarkably little written on Bhutan's reforms. Part of this probably has to do with limited access but also the fact that most attention in recent times has come from the international infatuation with Gross National Happiness which, I think, tends to be caricatured and not taken seriously as a unique Buddhist-inspired development philosophy. Some have argued GNH is the Bhutanese contribution to Buddhist economics - I didn't even know this existed until I starting writing this article! You can see the abstract here or you can get the whole article from my Crawford School page. Over the next year I will do some writing on service delivery and reform in Bhutan, and perhaps over the next couple join with some colleagues to write a book of reform and democratisation. In the meantime enjoy some of the first published work on public sector reform in Bhutan!