A World-State is a polity that functions as a single power bloc on the interstellar stages of diplomacy and trade.
- It may have a unified world government or be a balkanized collection of nation-states or other political groupings.
- It is an astronavigational term.
Obviously there is a large continuum of government types and functionalities for a world-state. The more effective world-states form unified policies for planetary and extraplanetary relations.
Unified Policy & Unified Governance
Typically unified policy necessitates a unified government, but some sophont species such as the Hivers are able to achieve unified policy without a conventional government. Hivers are near unique amongst the major races of Charted Space in this regard.
History & Background (Dossier)
For most sophont species, an outside influence typically precludes planetary unification. Often this involves a First Contact scenario with an exospecies. Although many other scenarios are possible.
Major Race Experiences
The K'kree, for instance, were largely motivated to form their first world-state by a competing sophont species while the Aslan were more motivated by climatological change, and their idea of a unified political presence is very different than many other sophont species.
The Terrans, on the other hand, fit a more conventional model, not truly unifying in an effective form until being threatened by the Ziru Sirka of the Vilani people, an exospecies of the same race even. And even then, the later Rule of Man still largely remained a faction of squabbling factors.