Despite being a technical book that addresses complexity out of sheer necessity, the text remains readable, sometimes entertainingly so. Phrases such as ‘governance badlands of South and Southeast Asia’ sum up our grim reality, conjuring images that we are all too familiar with. The editors have also done an excellent job in cross-referencing across chapters, so that the book reads more than a mere amalgamation of chapters. I would have preferred the graphs to be larger and clearer, but then, this comes out from an academic publisher. As the editors say, the book is an introduction, not a conclusion, “to a new way of governing, especially in areas that rest on specialised, yet incomplete, knowledge such as infrastructure.