Each edition of The Druk Journal will focus on a particular theme. The second issue of The Druk Journal focuses on ‘The Bhutanese State and Its Institutions’. This topic follows naturally from the first issue of the Journal, which focused on defining and understanding Bhutanese national identity.

The concept of the state has been a central subject for both political theorists and activists involved in carrying out or promoting programmes for social, economic, and political change and development the world over. The state is a relatively new concept in the history of political thought. In fact, it can be argued that the concept itself became important when the state and its institutions began to replace the traditional institutions of government in Europe in the 17th century.

The institutions of government in modern Bhutan have undergone radical change since 1907 with the establishment of our contemporary monarchy, a process that has taken place more rapidly and more radically than in many other countries of the world. We are proud of the fact that Bhutan was never colonised by another power and, unlike some other societies, institutional changes were not foisted on it by radical ideologies of either the Left or the Right.

At the same time, however, it also appears that the development of the modern Bhutanese state has taken place, and continues to take place, on a pragmatic basis. Its evolution has lacked a foundation in public discourse concerning the nature of the institutions that are needed to achieve the national objectives we have set for ourselves.

This issue of The Druk Journal is, therefore, intended to spark a public debate by providing a framework for such a discussion on this subject of vital importance to our kingdom’s development. It aims at encouraging us to reflect closely on the functioning and effectiveness of the institutions that have been established to build our state.

The Druk Journal is a nonpartisan publication. Our purpose is to serve the national interest through the development of serious conversation about policy from every possible constructive point of view. We have no editorial position of our own. We believe that our stated objectives and the means we will use to achieve them are the best way in which we can serve our country and His Majesty the King.

In this spirit, we invite your participation and the participation of all interested citizens in this endeavour. We wish you Good Reading, Good Thinking, and Good Conversation.