This panel examines the transformation of Bhutan during the last decade. Session 1 commences with consideration of the importance of migration in the shaping of Bhutan. Session 2 considers Gross National Happiness, the reception and practice of democracy and Bhutan's relations with its neighbours.
The panel presents recent research on Bhutan. Although in recent years Bhutan's unique development philosophy of Gross National Happiness has attracted growing attention, research on and our understanding of the profound changes that shape modern Bhutan is still very limited. By drawing together researchers from various backgrounds and disciplines, the panel presents a wide range of perspectives on Bhutan that seek to offer alternative, more appropriate and timely understandings of contemporary Bhutan, its place in South Asia and relations with its neighbours. The panels address two overarching themes: migration and political transformation. The first sessions examines "migration" from a range of perspectives, historical, demographic and political. The second considers the process of democratisation and its implications for state, local governance including protection of the environment and Bhutan's relations with its neighbours. Outline of Sessions Session 1 - Dr Francoise Pommaret: Lamas, deities and migrations in Bhutan. - Tim Bodt: Border without boundary: Bhutanese migrations to Arunachal Pradesh. - Mari Miyamoto: Who will be a "slaughterer" in re-Buddhistizing society in Himalaya. - Marian Gallenkamp: Democracy Consolidation in Bhutan - The Role of Elections and the Party System. Session 2 - Simon Teoh: Discord in Shangrila: critical perspectives on Bhutan's Gross National Happiness (GNH) Tourism. - Dr Medha Bisht : The New Bhutan. - Brian Shaw:Bhutan's Parliament: evolution of a legislature 1953 - 2013 and ahead to 2018. - Dr Richard W Whitecross: New Horizons? The right to environmental protection and the Supreme Court of Bhutan.