The Experience of Gross National Happiness as Development Framework

Publication | December 2015

This paper explores Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a framework for socio-economic development in Bhutan by elucidating GNH principles that affect the way Bhutanese society and state interact.

The paper dwells more on how Bhutan is actually, in practice, doing - by assessing policy intentions versus policy outcomes and declarations. It concludes that Bhutan’s experiment with GNH remains dynamic and evolving, and suggests that this whole policy process may also be of interest to those in the international community who have been intrigued by the original idea of GNH. It concludes that an outlook on whether GNH offers any realistic alternative toward higher well-being and lesser unsustainability in Bhutan.


  • Figures
  • Abstract
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Vision of Individual, Society, and Governing System
  • Conceptual Structure of Subjective Well-being, Buddhist Happiness, and GNH
  • Methodology of Measuring GNH and its Indicators
  • Multidimensional Framework - State and Non-official Institutions and Actors
  • Decision-guiding Tool: GNH Policy Screening Tools
  • GNH Socioeconomic Impact: Policy Outcomes
  • GNH Outreach
  • Outlook
  • Appendix
  • References

Additional Details

  • Governance and public sector management
  • Public administration, economic affairs, and policy
  • Bhutan
  • WPS157769-2
  • 2313-5867 (Print)
  • 2313-5875 (e-ISSN)

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