In this project, I study the merger of economic and political spheres in post-communist regimes. I develop a multi-level framework of analysis, re-conceptualizing the notions of “post-communist autocracy” and “relational economy” and defining their relationship, delimiting them as social settings qualitatively different from liberal democracy and market economy. The framework captures both the institutional specificities of autocratic tendencies in post-communist countries and the metamorphosis of corruption, elevated on the rank of central politics and managed through instruments of public authority. My contributions are (i) a multi-level analytical framework which describes post-communist regimes more accurately than other frameworks, (ii) a typology of the main types of political and economic actors and institutions in post-communist regimes, and (iii) a multi-level analysis of state–society relationships in post-communist countries. Using my results, scholars can formulate more relevant research questions, and investors, NGOs and political actors can develop more feasible strategies for the region.