The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan has not only a unique national environment but provides researchers with an opportunity to observe effective development in a relatively uncomplicated and controlled system that is government-led rather than donor-driven. This paper reviews recent progress in Bhutan’s development and sees two inhibitors to this seemingly `ideal’ situation: first, internal tensions between Drukpa and Nepali ethnic groups; and second, the impact of Bhutan’s opening itself up to external influence through media and the Internet, supported by a willing donor community. Future developments in Bhutan could act as a useful barometer for global events.
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