Urbanization in Bhutan

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan M. Walcott, Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Modernization's destabilizing effects frequently afflict emerging nations. Common problems evoke convergent pressures to find similar solutions. Bhutan's "middle way" development strategy offers a model for navigating competing pressures that holds promise by successfully infusing both cultural and functional elements. In this study I examine the elements that affect urbanization as the country steers internationally between isolation and absorption by powerful neighbors and domestically between an absolute monarchy and a democracy. Urban concerns flow from several common issues (Potter and others 2004). Migration to primate centers often leads to a mismatch of skills and employment opportunities, with familiar negative consequences. Population pressure exacerbates inadequate infrastructure, particularly affecting poorer parts of cities and aggravating tensions among groups. The regional problem lies in avoiding urban primacy, wherein large cities drain national resources (Pugh 1996). Sociodemographic considerations focus on how culture affects the development process. Political strategies revolve around management of these challenges, often triggering a rebalancing transition.

Additional Information

Publication
Geographical Review 99(1):81-93
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Bhutan, Urbanization, 'Middle way'approach