In this article we order the 28 post-communist countries in a theoretically informed typology of political regime forms. Our theoretical expectation is that a hierarchy exists in the extent to which the post-communist countries fulfill democratic criteria concerning electoral rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law. More particularly, we expect that the countries are doing better with respect to electoral rights than civil liberties and that they fare worst regarding the rule of law. The analyses confirm three — ever stricter — versions of this hypothesis, in the end establishing the presence of an almost perfect hierarchy across the attributes in the form of a Guttman scale. Furthermore, a systematic cross-spatial distribution is identified, which lends support to the notion that the present political differences must be traced back to structural constraints and are, therefore, likely to subsist.

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