This review seeks to critically unravel Bogdan Bucur's Sociology of Bad Governance in Interwar Romania by using both an emic and an etic approach. From an emic perspective, that is, from inside the book, Bogdan Bucur's intellectual effort is really impressive. Despite a huge amount of data, Sociology of Bad Governance in Interwar Romania proves itself quite easy to read thanks to a solid organization. Additionally, due to the fact that the author has employed a classic academic recipe, the abovementioned book is also very coherent. However, looked at it etically, the book loses its internal coherence due to some conceptual and methodological blunders. Conceptually, despite the fact that the book brings to the fore the issue of bad governance and that it includes a theoretical chapter, the concept of good governance is left unaddressed. Methodologically, the author seems to have fallen in the trap of methodological nationalism. A consistent liberal and neo-marxist literature has already addressed the state as a historical institution which is more or less dependent on the international milieu. In his attempt to explain the administrative failures of the interwar Romanian state, the author has completely overlooked the path dependence explanation and the impact former empires had had on post-colonial states. Thus, a confusion between causes and manifestations of bad governance has emerged.
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