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Bhutanese Public Policy in the Century of Interdependence

Author(s): Peter D. Hershock

Journal: Journal of Bhutan Studies
ISSN 1608-411X

Volume: Volume 11 Winter '04;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 89;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Bhutanese Public Policy

The 21st century promises to be the “century ofinterdependence.” Yet, growing interdependence is noguarantee or either greater equity of sustainable and justdevelopment. In order to insure that increasinginterdependence leads to extending and deepening publicgood, public policy must appropriately respond to andcoordinate the complex dynamics that characterize 21stcentury social, economic, political, and cultural realities.This position paper proposes forging a coordinative approachto public policy that is systematically informed by Buddhistconceptual resources and that is consonant with the RoyalBhutanese Government’s commitments to sustainablyenhancing personal, communal, and national happiness.Such an approach would alloy the differing strengths andinsights afforded by Bhutan’s various ministries andknowledge communities under an analytically forceful, yetunifying policy aim. In particular, it would orient public policytoward building personal, communal, and national capacitiesfor contributing freely and skillfully in directing the process ofintegration into global systems toward the consolidation ofpublic good.The key indices of this coordinative approach to public policyare poverty alleviation and enhanced diversity.The preliminary implications of this coordinative approach topublic policy will be briefly examined with reference to asingle crucial policy domain: education.

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