This paper is about the use of social hierarchies as tools to control society in East European countries during the Communist era, and why those regimes were so stable. According to the theoretical perspective developed in this article the constructivist system instituted a socialist legal order as a means to pretend that the 'rule of law' was still applicable. The resulting constructivist regimes were party-states, where all state hierarchies had parallel structures within the Communist Party hierarchy, and where the separation of powers was replaced with a 'hierarchic balancing', a special form of leadership that the Communist Party exerted over all institutions of state administration and the armed forces. The principle of democratic centralism helped to decrease the transaction costs of governance, and thus, achieve loyalty to the system by party members and non-members alike, and loyalty to the leadership within Communist Party.
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