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International Politics of Bhutan Karma Galay Aug 31, 2004

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 International Politics of Bhutan*
Karma Galay*
Introduction
This paper discusses the extent to which international
relations theories, which are mainly based on the behavior
and interest of the big powers, explain the international
behavior of small states. In order to do so, four different
theories that are most commonly used to explain the
international behavior of small states are reviewed briefly.
Bhutan's international affairs, emphasizing on its relations
with India is described and explanations provided using these
theories. These theories predict that other small states would
behave in a similar manner. To test this, Bhutan's relation
with India is compared with the relation between Nepal and
India. Nepal's relations with India differ from that of
Bhutan's. This difference is empirically supported by their
voting behavior in the United Nations. The exiting theories fail
to explain different relations of two similar states vis-a-vis a
big neighbour. Some alternative explanations have been
provided. The paper concludes by emphasizing that no
existing international relations theories explain the behavior
of small states. More studies incorporating cultural, political
and social characteristics and involving foreign policy experts
of small states are suggested.
A Review of International Relations Theories Related to Small
States
There is a wide consensus among scholars and students of
international relations that are interested in small states that
the small states have been ignored by the prevailing
international relations theories. In very limited instances
where international politics of small states are mentioned, the
* This paper was written as a research assignment in December
2001 at Stanford University, California,
+ Researcher, The Centre for Bhutan Studies
90
 International Politics of Bhutan
states are described as small are so only relative to their
neighbours or larger powers with which they are compared.
For example, in Power and Interdependence, Keohane and
Nye discuss the asymmetric relationship between the US on
the one hand and Canada and Australia on the other.
Australia and Canada are small only when compared to the
US. Apart from the issue of differences in sizes of the states,
there are several other dimensional differences that
characterize global politico-economic system. There is an
international hierarchy of growing complexities,
discontinuities, and inequalities (Fauriol, 1984. 12-13).
One of the most common theories used to explain
international policies of small states is structural scarcity
theory. It emphasizes that the lack of economic and military
capabilities constrain the behavior of small sates. They are
dependent on the states that have these capabilities (Vogel.
1983. 58). (inHolled.)
The concept of bandwagoning is other most commonly used
theory to explain international behavior of small states
(Vayrynen, 1997. 46). (in Inbar & Seffer ed) It is stated that
that in a situation of threat small states will almost always
align with the threatening power.
There are two other theories that have been used to study
behavior of small states. First one is the world systems
analysis and it emphasizes the economic dynamics of the
entire international system. According to this theory, the
world is divided into a three-layer hierarchy of core, semi-
periphery and periphery. It is believed when the world's
economy expands, it contributes productive power of the
hegemonic core, which in turn enables substantial
penetration into the periphery. It also states that in the long
run, there will be rivalry among the core powers, leading to
protectionist and bilateral trading arrangements. This enables
the peripheral states to exercise economic independence.
(Vayrynen, 1983. 90) (in Holl ed). The second one is the
dependency school. It distinguishes states into dominant and
91
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
dominated. It is believed that the dominant states penetrate
with transnational economic forces into the economies and
polities of smaller states. (Vayrynen, 1983. 83) (in Holl ed).
Given these theories, let us now discuss the international
policies of Bhutan and try to see if the above theories explain
them.
Bhutan's International Politics
Bhutan emerged out of self-imposed isolation in the early
1960s. Except for a few contacts with Tibet and British India,
it did not have contacts with other countries earlier. Since
then, Bhutan has cautiously and gradually joined the
international community of nations and organizations.
Right from the beginning, Bhutan's international politics has
been characterized by its close and intimate relationship with
India. It agreed to be advised by India in international affairs.
A treaty to this effect was signed in 1949 (Rose 1977, 77),
before the country abandoned its isolation, but took on
importance only after 1961. Formal diplomatic relations
between Bhutan and India at the ambassadorial level were
established in 1978. However, cooperation between the two
countries started much earlier. Bhutan launched its first five-
year plan in 1961. The first two five-year plans were
exclusively financed by India. Construction of roads
constituted the main component of Indian assistance. Later
on it also included construction of schools, hospitals and
agricultural centers. Today, Indian assistance to Bhutan is
largely in hydropower industry. Apart from economic
assistance, India also provides military assistance to Bhutan.
It provides basic training to the Bhutanese armed force
personnel. On the political front, the two countries enjoy a
very stable relationship. Although the political leadership and
the governing parties change fairly frequently in India, the
two countries have not had any political differences. They
share membership in several multilateral and regional
organizations. Although Bhutan has neither the capacity nor
92
 International Politics of Bhutan
the intention to develop nuclear weapons, it has supported
India's nuclear policies.
The maintenance of a very close and intimate relationship
with India does not mean that Bhutan took India into a total
trust. Bhutan has always been aware of the asymmetries
between the two. In order to counter this feeling of insecurity,
Bhutan has been diversifying its international relations,
Bhutan applied for membership in a number of international
organizations and gradually became a member of them. It was
admitted to the United Nations in 1971. The UN opened a
United Nations Development Program office in Thimphu in
1979. Bhutan is now a member of more than 150
international organisations. In addition, diversification of its
international relationships also took the form of expansion of
bilateral relations with other countries, mostly with small
countries that share similar experiences. It has diplomatic
relations with Austria, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands,
Sweden, and Switzerland. In Asia, Bhutan has bilateral
relationships with Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan,
Maldives, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Kuwait, Bahrain,
Finland, Norway, Australia, and Thailand. These are more
formal than intimate, however, and Bhutan does not
maintain office in many of them.
As its contacts with the outside world increased, Bhutan
gained more experiences in international politics. Internally,
various development activities, especially progress in
education, had great impacts on Bhutanese policy makers.
These changes enabled the policy makers to define a unique
security that fitted with its demographic, socio-cultural, and
geopolitical realities. Apart from military, political, and
economic aspects of security, Bhutan also considers threats
to its culture and environment as major security problems.
Such concerns have effectively been expressed through its
development philosophy, known as Gross National
Happiness, which emphasizes the happiness of its citizens as
the ultimate objective of any development pursuit that it
undertakes. This philosophy is implemented in the day-to-day
93
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
activities of the country through the preservation of the
culture and the environment, the promotion of equitable
economic development and of good governance. Bhutan has
increasingly used this philosophy to attract the attention of
the outside world.
Explanations to Bhutan's International Behaviour
Bhutan's intimate relationship with India can be explained
from several perspectives. Bhutan is located in a very
strategic part of the world. It has the world's two most
populous and economically growing countries as its
neighbours. Given its physical, demographic and economic
size and the geo-political realities in which it exists, Bhutan is
in a very precarious situation. Thus, it is the lack of
economic, military and political capabilities to ensure its
security that brought about its collaboration with India. India
provides economic and defense assistance to Bhutan. These
points suggest the functioning of structural scarcity theory.
Bhutan's efforts to diversify its international relations are
rooted in its own national security concerns. Bhutan's fear of
confining its international relations to India increased in
1975, when India overran Sikkim, immediately to the west of
Bhutan (Chetri 1998, ?). The need to offset Indian domination
led Bhutan to establish relations with many countries and
organizations around the globe. Despite its dislike for
Bhutan's diversifying moves, India has always restrained
itself from committing actions that would set the two
neighbours into conflict. India is aware that any conflicts with
Bhutan will not be a rational move for it. Bhutan serves as a
buffer between China and India along part of a very extensive
border. Besides, since independence in 1947, India has been
left connected to its northeastern states by a narrow strip of
land called the Siliguri Corridor, lying between Pakistan (now
Bangladesh) and Bhutan. Most of these states have
experienced, and continue to experience, active insurgency
against the Indian central government. Bhutan and
Bangladesh help protect the narrow corridor that connects
94
 International Politics of Bhutan
these states to the main part of India, and therefore can play
an important role in India's strategic plans.
Economically, as a landlocked country, Bhutan relies on
India for access to the sea. India is its major trading partner.
In 1999, India accounted for 75% of Bhutan's imports and
94.5% of its exports. India is the major donor to Bhutan. But
the economic relationship between the two is not a
unidirectional one. Although to a lesser degree compared to
Bhutan's dependence on it, India also relies on the former for
economic matters. Apart from helping Bhutan, its
investments in Bhutan serve to boost the economies of the
Indian states that border Bhutan. Most of the industries in
West Bengal now depend on electricity imported from Bhutan.
Many Indians are employed in Bhutan.
It is apparent from these explanations that it's the structural
scarcity that determines Bhutan's relation with India and its
behavior in other international behavior. However, contrary to
structural scarcity theory's emphasis on the prominent
nature of the dependency of small states on big ones, we find
that the big power is also dependent on the small power. As
structural theory fairly explains Bhutan's relation with India,
supporters of this theory would predict that it would hold
true for any country similar to Bhutan.
Nepal has been chosen for comparison. Like Bhutan, Nepal is
a landlocked country depending on India for access to sea
and other economic inputs. However, Nepal is much poorer
than Bhutan. In 1997, Nepal's per capita income was US 220
whereas Bhutan's was US$ 594.1 Nepal's per capita
availability of land and forest resources have deteriorated
with the increase in population. The situation of
unemployment has worsened over the years. Its structural
scarcity is much more severe than Bhutan's. By the logic of
the   theories,   it  is   expected   to   have   even  more   intimate
1 Bhutan National Human Development Report, 2000
95
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
relationship with India than Bhutan. Yet its relationship with
India is a very hostile one.
In the 1950s, Nepal and India had differences over the issue
of rights of landlocked states to transit facilities and access to
the sea. In 1969, Nepal asked India to withdraw its security
check-posts and liaison groups in Nepal. India withdrew very
reluctantly. Throughout the 1970s, India supported Nepalese
Congress Party2 to oppose the monarchy in Nepal. In 1987
India threatened expulsion of Nepalese settlers from
neighbouring Indian states. Nepal retaliated by introducing a
permit system for Indians working in Nepal and imposing a
55 per cent tariff on Indian goods. In 1988, Nepal signed an
agreement with China to purchase weapons. India retaliated
by imposing economic sanctions. In 1989, Nepal decoupled
its currency from the Indian rupee which previously had
circulated freely in Nepal. Indian retaliation prevented Nepal
from using port facilities in Calcutta3. In recent times, the two
have been having disputes over sharing of water resources.
The prediction of structural scarcity theory fails. It does not
explain the behavior of all small states vis-a-vis their
neighbours. The case of Nepal also proves that other theories
such as small powers aligning with the threatening power
don't hold true. Bhutan aligns with India while Nepal doesn't.
The world systems approach and dependency school which
emphasize the economic issues as the core of international
relations, also don't provide a credible explanation as
although both Bhutan and Nepal are economically dependent
on India, they have different form of relations with India. How
can we then explain the different strategies that Bhutan and
Nepal adopt towards India?
2 Nepal Congress Party first came into being in Varanasi, India in
1940s. It's formation was supported by Indian Congress Party
3 Information used here has been taken from
http:lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/nptoc.html
96
 International Politics of Bhutan
Alternative Explanations
Examination of the differences in certain basic characteristics
that Nepal and Bhutan had at that point of time in their
histories may suggest some explanations to their different
relations with India. I start by looking at two issues: general
awareness and the domestic institutions. Although both
Bhutan and Nepal were considered closed before the 1950s,
Nepal had frequent contacts with the outside world. Nepal's
Prime Minister Jung Bahadur traveled to England in 1850
and returned convinced of the necessity to have good
relations with industrialized countries. Since then, European
architecture and fashion were given popular
acknowledgement in Nepal. Institutionally, administrative
procedures and legal frameworks for interpreting civil and
criminal matters, revenue collection, landlord and peasant
relations, inter-caste disputes, and marriage and family law,
were established. These institutions were largely used to
centralize the power of monarchy.
In the same period, Nepal's awareness of the world further
increased through its involvement in different military
operations with the British army. Nepal offered military
assistance to the British during the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857
in India, and its troops fought World War I and World War II.
The returning Gurkha troops who were now aware of the
outside world started newspapers, which later became the
forum of intellectual debate and discussion. Thus, Nepal had
a high degree of awareness of the outside world and some
form of institutions when it opened up in 1951.
On the other hand, Bhutan remained completely closed and it
did not develop any domestic institutions. Until the monarchy
was established in 1907, it was governed by a very unstable
form of political institution where the civil and military
activities were looked after by a temporal ruler and the
religious activities by a religious ruler. The institution of
monarchy ensured political stability. The reigns of the first
two   kings   were   mostly   confined   to   maintaining   internal
97
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
political stability. Its awareness of the outside world remained
low. The two Kings also did not establish any kind of
domestic institutions.
The initiatives taken by the Third King in the 1950s suggest
that Bhutan was by then more aware of the outside world.
Many political changes were taking place in the region. India
had gained its independence from Britain in 1947. To the
north, China had occupied Tibet in 1951. Soon after these
events, the Third King established National Assembly in
1953. In the mean time, events in the north were becoming
more threatening. In 1959, China had taken over Tibet
forcefully and Dalai Lama fled to India. Bhutan almost
immediately launched its first five-year plan in 1961. The five-
year system plan was the first formal approach to economic
development. These developments emanated largely in
response to the international events taking place in the
region. Thus, while Nepal already had fairly established forms
of domestic institutions when it opened up, Bhutan had to
develop them rather in a short span of time. This suggests a
close link between domestic institutions and international
affairs. A weak domestic institution is a source of threat to
the national security of small states.
Bhutan's decision to align with India and not with China
could also be related to the events just described. Bhutan
viewed China as a revolutionary power. When China took over
Tibet formally in 1951 and more directly, and forcefully, in
1959, Bhutan sympathized with Tibet's fate. As a country
that shares the same religion and culture as Tibet's,
Bhutanese policy makers perceived China in Tibet as posing
serious threats to Bhutan's independence and security (Holsti
1982, 42). On the other hand, Nepalese elites had little
"empathy for the Buddhist political and cultural system in
Tibet and demonstrated only minimal sympathy for the fate
suffered by Tibet" (Rose, 1977. 82). Besides, on some
occasions in the past China tried to claim suzerainty over
Bhutan. It published maps, which showed sizeable portions
of Bhutan as part of Tibet and sent pamphlets preaching
98
 International Politics of Bhutan
Communism into Bhutan from across the border. (Rahul
1971, 103-105). Nepal never saw as much threat from
Chinese as Bhutan did.
Bhutan and Nepal differ significantly in terms of the nature of
political structure and its stability. Democracy was restored
in Nepal in 1990 but Nepal still faces political instability.
There have been frequent changes of government. Corruption
and inter-party and intra-party conflicts are widely prevalent.
Opposition parties label any initiative by the ruling party as
selfish and anti-Nepal even though some initiatives would
benefit the country as a whole. For example, in 1991, the
opposition party opposed Prime Minister G.P. Koirala's
initiatives to have close economic and security ties with India.
Conflicts and feuds among Nepal's political elites have
prevented Nepal from developing a consensus policy towards
India. Besides, many view Nepal Congress Party as an
extension of the Indian Congress Party. There is an ever-
increasing effort to pursue policies quite different from India.
In Bhutan, there are no political parties and there had been
no fight for power among factions or any groups. It enjoys a
very stable political structure and has been pursuing a
relationship with India which ensures its economic and
military security.
A Comparison of Bhutan's UN roll call votes with Nepal and India
So far, we have indicated difference in the behavior of Bhutan
and Nepal vis-a-vis India and have provided some
explanations for them. Let us now try to support these claims
by looking at one specific instance. For this purpose, data on
UN roll call votes from 1975 to 1985, i.e. from the 30th to the
40th sessions of the UN General Assembly, has been analyzed.
Bhutan became a member of the UN only in the 27th session,
and the first couple of years of its membership was a learning
period during which it participated in only a few roll call
votes. Therefore, the 30th session has been taken as the
starting point of analysis. Data is immediately available only
up to the 40th session.
99
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
General Assembly votes take three forms: yes, no or abstain.
Only those votes in which all three voted were taken for
comparison. Votes were classified into the following major
categories: disarmament and nuclear weapons, human rights,
economic issues, territorial integrity, and international
security. All the issues related to nuclear weapons,
disarmament, non-use of force, chemical and biological
weapons have been included in the disarmament and nuclear
weapons category; issues related to apartheid, gender and
religious rights in the human rights category; all the issues
related economic development and resources under economic
issues; colonialism and occupation of territories under
territorial integrity; and issues related UN peace keeping
forces and international peace conferences and talks under
international security. A small number of issues, which did
not fall within these categories, have been left out of this
analysis. The following table shows the pattern of votes for
India, Bhutan and Nepal from the 30th to 40th sessions of the
UN General Assembly.
Session
Country
Disarmament
& Nuclear
Weapons
Human
Rights
Economic
Issues
Territorial
Integrity
International
Security
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
30th
India
14
1
1
20
0
0
11
0
0
15
2
1
1
0
0
Bhutan
13
2
1
19
1
0
10
0
0
14
3
0
1
0
0
Nepal
16
0
0
15
5
0
11
0
0
16
1
0
1
0
0
31st
India
10
3
1
23
0
0
22
1
0
21
0
1
5
0
0
Bhutan
9
4
1
24
0
0
23
0
0
17
1
0
5
0
0
Nepal
14
0
0
21
2
0
23
0
0
19
3
0
5
0
0
32nd
India
11
3
0
28
0
0
22
1
0
20
0
1
5
0
0
Bhutan
11
4
0
28
0
0
23
0
0
19
1
0
5
0
0
Nepal
15
0
0
26
2
0
23
0
0
19
2
0
5
0
0
Continue next page.
Note- Y: yes; A: abstain; N: no
100
 International Politics of Bhutan
Session
Country
Disarmament
& Nuclear
Weapons
Human
Rights
Economic
Issues
Territorial
Integrity
International
Security
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
Y
A
N
33rd
India
13
4
1
32
1
0
30
1
0
19
1
1
17
0
0
Bhutan
13
4
1
33
0
0
31
0
0
19
2
0
17
0
0
Nepal
17
1
0
26
7
0
30
1
0
17
4
0
16
1
0
34th
India
12
4
1
28
2
0
20
2
0
27
0
1
11
0
0
Bhutan
12
4
1
28
1
0
21
0
0
27
1
0
11
0
0
Nepal
16
1
0
24
6
0
21
1
0
24
4
0
11
0
0
35th
India
16
4
2
39
2
1
7
1
0
12
2
1
4
0
0
Bhutan
17
4
1
38
2
1
6
0
0
13
1
0
4
0
0
Nepal
21
1
0
37
5
0
7
1
0
12
3
0
4
0
0
36th
India
18
7
1
27
1
0
22
2
0
35
2
0
4
0
0
Bhutan
19
1
1
26
2
0
24
0
0
34
2
0
4
0
0
Nepal
21
4
0
24
4
0
22
2
0
32
5
0
4
0
0
37th
38th
39th
40th
India
30
9
2
34
2
1
31
0
0
29
2
1
6
1
0
Bhutan
34
4
1
33
4
0
31
0
0
29
2
0
6
1
0
Nepal
36
3
0
34
3
0
30
1
0
29
3
0
7
0
0
India
29
40
15
2
27
1
0
24
0
0
28
1
0
13
2
0
Bhutan
3
1
25
3
0
24
0
0
27
1
0
15
0
0
Nepal
41
5
0
24
4
0
23
0
0
26
2
0
15
0
0
India
31
12
2
40
1
0
24
1
0
22
1
0
13
1
0
Bhutan
39
3
1
38
3
0
24
1
0
20
1
0
13
0
0
Nepal
40
4
0
34
6
0
24
1
0
22
1
0
14
0
0
India
31
16
0
33
1
1
29
0
0
24
2
0
14
0
0
Bhutan
41
4
0
35
1
0
30
0
0
23
1
0
14
0
0
Nepal
43
4
0
34
2
0
30
1
0
22
3
0
15
0
0
Total
votes
India
215
78
13
331
11
3
242
9
0
252
13
7
93
4
0
Bhutan
248
37
9
327
17
1
247
1
0
242
16
0
95
1
0
Nepal
280
23
0
299
46
0
244
8
0
238
31
0
97
1
0
Source:   UN Roll  Call  Data,   SSDS,   Stanford University
101
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
The above table demonstrates a clear and distinct pattern of
votes. The number of differences in 'Yes" votes is higher in
the nuclear and disarmament issues. There is a small
difference in the human rights category too. The three
countries vote almost in the same manner on other issues.
For example, the difference in the total number of 'Yes" votes
among the three countries is very small on issues related to
economic questions, territorial integrity and international
security. This indicates that a big neighbour does not
influence a small state's voting pattern on all the issues.
Following charts show the pattern of votes described above.
o
No. of Yes votes in Disarmament & Nuclear Weapons
issue
°y    rSir     of
gr    <p      <p      <p      <p      cp-
.<& ,& ,& «& „«>
of  nf <§-   A?  of  n°T   £?
UN Sessions
■ India
■ Bhutan
Nepal
102
 International Politics of Bhutan
o
No. of "Yes" votes in Economic issues
35 -
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
-M-
Ft
X
\
r   4*   #v  *r   «r   «r   #v   #v  «r   «r   #
^'  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  #  ^
,o-' / „</ J> J> ^ J> ^ J> ^ ^
Un Session
■ India
■ Bhutan
■Nepal
Having seen this general pattern, let's now discuss some more
specific issues and try to analyze whether the data supports
the general findings that we have seen, i.e. Bhutan and Nepal
behave differently vis-a-vis India. We have seen that the
voting pattern is almost similar on economic, territorial
integrity and international security issues. But closer analysis
of votes on disarmament and nuclear weapons issues is
suggestive.
Analysis of the data shows that Bhutan's votes on issues
related to disarmament and nuclear weapons closely follow
India's. In fact, Bhutan's total number of 'Yes" votes in the
32nd, 33rd and 34th sessions are identical to India's votes. This
suggests the Indian influence in Bhutan's voting pattern. On
the other hand, Nepal's votes on these issues differ by a large
margin from India's. This confirms that Nepal's international
politics does not follow India. This supports our argument
103
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
that the two small states with similar economic and physical
features, do not behave the same way.
Data also shows a trend that needs further discussion.
Beginning with 37th session, Bhutan's voting pattern differs
from India's. In the figure below, except for the 38th session,
the difference in the number of votes between Bhutan and
India on disarmament and nuclear issues widens and the
difference becomes greater towards the end of the period
under review.
o
Comparison of Bhutan & India's "Yes" votes in
Disarmament and Nuclear issues
<a     30
a>
25
20
15
10
5
UN sessions
• India
■ Bhutan
fcft_31
As the data showed some interesting trend, issues on which
Bhutan voted differently from India were analyzed further.
Analysis  shows  some  counter-intuitive  voting behavior  by
104
 International Politics of Bhutan
Bhutan. As a small country, one cannot expect it to have any
ambition to develop nuclear weapons but it abstains in many
of the issues, which it is expected to support. It even abstains
on the issues in which India votes "yes". In the past most of
its abstentions were on the same issues that India abstained
from voting. So, how can we account for such a trend by a
country, which has so far been supportive of India.
Looking into the diplomatic history of Bhutan, this different
voting pattern of Bhutan coincides with the efforts taken to
establish its international image. The sessions, which show a
different voting pattern, fall in the early 1980s(1982, 1983,
1984 and 1985). During the same period, Bhutan became
member of several international organizations and
established diplomatic relationships with countries other
than India. It joined IMF, World Bank, IDA and FAO in 1981;
WHO, UNESCO, and ADB, in 1982; and became a member of
SAARC, UNCTAD and ICIMOD in 1985. In 1985, it also
established Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva and
diplomatic relations with Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, the
Netherlands and Norway. The different pattern of Bhutan's
voting pattern towards the end of the period under review can
be attributed to its diversifying diplomatic relations. This is
highly suggestive of the role of the international organizations
and the network of diplomatic relations in international
politics of a state. However, this conclusion needs to be
qualified. Unless more researches are carried out by
interviewing Bhutanese foreign policy experts, it cannot be
concluded for sure that Bhutan has decided to differ with
India. One could only suggest that Bhutan was very tactful
and voted different from India only on the issues that India
wouldn't care to bother how Bhutan voted. There are enough
facts to support this argument. Bhutan has followed Indian
stand on issues that India considers important. Because
India refuses to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation and
Comprehensive Test Ban treaties, Bhutan has also not
ratified them. Bhutan supported India's nuclear test in 1998.
105
 Journal of Bhutan Studies
Conclusions
In conclusion we could say that no single existing theory
explains the international politics of small states adequately.
They fail to account for different behavior of two small states
with similar economic and physical limitations. The level of
awareness, domestic institutions, culture and the nature of
political structure and stability determine their international
behavior. This suggests that there can be no universal theory
which can explain the behavior of small states with different
culture, politics, domestic institutions and perceptions of
security. A next stage of study, involving different experts of
foreign policies on Bhutan and Nepal, could go a long way in
confirming the some suggestive explanations provided to their
different behavior towards India.
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107
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