The (re)building of the post-communist states offers new perspectives both on the
state and on the multiple transitions that followed communism. Specifically, it shifts our analytical focus from states as consolidated outcomes and unitary actors to the process by which states come into being and into action in the modern era. This process consists of elite competition over policy-making authority, which is shaped and constrained by existing institutional resources, the pacing of transformation, and the international context. The four ideal types of state-building that result are exemplified by the post-communist experience: democratic, autocratic, fractious, and personalistic.