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In the name of king, country, and people on the Westminster model and Bhutan's constitutional transition

Bothe, Winnie LU (2015) In Democratization 22(7). p.1338-1361
Abstract
In 2008 Bhutan inaugurated a written constitution thereby instituting the state as a constitutional monarchy. The constitution is almost unanimously described as democratic by international media and academics. The ease with which this apparent consensus on its democratic character has been achieved, however, raises the important question of how best to approach the theory of constitutional democratization. In approaching the issue of democratization as a move towards popular control, this article discusses the ambivalence of the Bhutanese constitution towards this principle in a cultural context where social order is seen as constituted within the unity of king, country, and people. Curiously, this language is not as unique to Bhutan as... (More)
In 2008 Bhutan inaugurated a written constitution thereby instituting the state as a constitutional monarchy. The constitution is almost unanimously described as democratic by international media and academics. The ease with which this apparent consensus on its democratic character has been achieved, however, raises the important question of how best to approach the theory of constitutional democratization. In approaching the issue of democratization as a move towards popular control, this article discusses the ambivalence of the Bhutanese constitution towards this principle in a cultural context where social order is seen as constituted within the unity of king, country, and people. Curiously, this language is not as unique to Bhutan as one might expect, but influenced by the Westminster legacy in its emphasis on the principle of Crown in Parliament, its ritualization, and ideas of political inequality. It raises the question whether this model is suitable as a blueprint model for countries with different historic and cultural trajectories from the European ones? The article advocates a novel approach to the analysis of constitutional transition that transgresses the dichotomy between an institutional and linguistic approach, thus opening up interesting new insights on the waxing and waning of processes of expanding popular control. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bhutan, popular control, constitutional transition, constitutional, language, "Crown in Parliament"
in
Democratization
volume
22
issue
7
pages
1338 - 1361
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000362174200009
  • scopus:84954028460
ISSN
1351-0347
DOI
10.1080/13510347.2014.959437
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e822e8bb-6a95-4e94-acaf-1723bd06d0ee (old id 8220817)
date added to LUP
2015-11-30 11:15:13
date last changed
2017-04-23 03:57:09
@article{e822e8bb-6a95-4e94-acaf-1723bd06d0ee,
  abstract     = {In 2008 Bhutan inaugurated a written constitution thereby instituting the state as a constitutional monarchy. The constitution is almost unanimously described as democratic by international media and academics. The ease with which this apparent consensus on its democratic character has been achieved, however, raises the important question of how best to approach the theory of constitutional democratization. In approaching the issue of democratization as a move towards popular control, this article discusses the ambivalence of the Bhutanese constitution towards this principle in a cultural context where social order is seen as constituted within the unity of king, country, and people. Curiously, this language is not as unique to Bhutan as one might expect, but influenced by the Westminster legacy in its emphasis on the principle of Crown in Parliament, its ritualization, and ideas of political inequality. It raises the question whether this model is suitable as a blueprint model for countries with different historic and cultural trajectories from the European ones? The article advocates a novel approach to the analysis of constitutional transition that transgresses the dichotomy between an institutional and linguistic approach, thus opening up interesting new insights on the waxing and waning of processes of expanding popular control.},
  author       = {Bothe, Winnie},
  issn         = {1351-0347},
  keyword      = {Bhutan,popular control,constitutional transition,constitutional,language,"Crown in Parliament"},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1338--1361},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Democratization},
  title        = {In the name of king, country, and people on the Westminster model and Bhutan's constitutional transition},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2014.959437},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2015},
}