This article analyzes the institutionalization of the social interventionist policies advocated by the Bucharest Sociological School. I argue that the 1938 Social Service Law and the ensuing establishment of the Social Service must be understood, on the one hand, as the large scale application of Dimitrie Gusti’s previous ideas regarding “cultural work” in the rural world and, on the other hand, as strategies specifically designed to strengthen the newly established royal dictatorship. The Social Service was rendered compulsory for all university graduates in order to bridge the urban-rural divide, rally Romania’s youth to the Carlist cause, create a pool of trained cadres to serve the regime, as well undermine support for the only political force still capable of challenging the Carlist regime, namely the Legionary Movement. Consequently, the article begins by tracing the intellectual origins and organizational precursors of the Social Service. It also explains the socio-political context of these antecedents. The second part of the article details the political considerations that caused the Social Service to be established and then suspended in short order.
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