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Government is the method by which a subplanetary (...smaller than a world), planetary (world), or interstellar (multi-system) state or community, governs. itself. Standard Universal World Profile codes exist to explain most of the most common government types.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The government codes used in the Universal World Profile describe generalizations of the many types and forms of possible governments. In the original form the code was to describe the workings of the government at the level of interaction with an outsider. By providing an overview of how the laws are made and processed by the local populace informs the outsider what to expect. If the current laws and policies are not to the liking, how difficult are these to change.

General Government Codes & Descriptions[edit]

Worlds inhabited by Humaniti or non-Human Sophonts similar to Humaniti are generally classified with the following codes:

General Government Codes & Descriptions
Symbol Code Name Description Power Source / Sructure
Gov-Code-0 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 0 No Government Structure In many cases, tribal, clan or family bonds predominate Democracy / Anarchy or Confederation
Gov-Code-1 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 1 Company/Corporation Government by a company managerial elite, citizens are company employees. Oligarchy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-2 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 2 Participating Democracy Government by advice and consent of the citizen. Democracy / Confederation or Federation
Gov-Code-3 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 3 Self-perpetuating Oligarchy Government by a restricted minority, with little or no input from the masses. Oligarchy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-4 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 4 Representative Democracy Government by elected representatives. Democracy / Federation or Unitary State
Gov-Code-5 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 5 Feudal Technocracy Government by specific individuals for those who agree to be ruled. Relationships are based on the performance of technical activities which are mutually-beneficial. Oligarchy / Federation or Unitary State
Gov-Code-6 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 6 Captive Government/Colony Government by a leadership answerable to an outside group, a colony or conquered area. Autocracy / Federation
Gov-Code-7 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 7 Balkanization No central ruling authority exists. Rival governments compete for control. Anarchy / Confederation
Gov-Code-8 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 8 Civil Service Bureaucracy Government by agencies employing individuals selected for their expertise. Oligarchy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-9 Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png 9 Impersonal Bureaucracy Government by agencies which are insulated from the governed. Oligarchy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-A Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png A (10) Charismatic Dictator Government by a single leader enjoying the confidence of the citizens. Autocracy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-B Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png B (11) Non-Charismatic Leader A previous charismatic dictator has been replaced by a leader through normal channels. Autocracy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-C Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png C (12) Charismatic Oligarchy Government by a select group, organization, or class enjoying overwhelming confidence of the citizenry. Oligarchy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-D Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png D (13) Religious Dictatorship Government by a religious minority which has little regard for the needs of the citizenry. Autocracy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-E Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png E (14) Religious Autocracy Government by a single religious leader having absolute power over the citizenry. Autocracy / Unitary State
Gov-Code-F Fan-Andy-Bigwood 13-Nov-2019.png F (15) Totalitarian Oligarchy Government by an all-powerful minority which maintains absolute control through widespread coercion and oppression. Oligarchy / Unitary State

Code 7 Balkanization: Balkanization is a special result which indicates that there is no world government; instead several rival territorial governments exist. In such cases, the specific qualities of each territory on the planet should be separately listed.

Code 6 Captive Government / Colony (Subordinate Government) & Codes (0, 1, 2 & 3): Subordinate Government are non-sovereign (...or semi-sovereign) governments on other planets within a system. These governments are usually code 0,1,2,3 or 6.

Governments outside of the Third Imperium[edit]

Certain non-human sophonts use governments that do not cleanly map to human standards. They can be likened to human governments, but differ in fine details important to them. These details are also often important to human travellers to these worlds, at least as much as the differences between human governments matter. The clearest difference is between the Hiver Supervised Anarchy (where the Hiver Federation observers are often effectively the people in charge, even if they act indirectly) and Unsupervised Anarchy (where this is not the case, instead being truly ruled by individual nests, with the result somewhere between codes 0 and 7 - between what a human world would term an anarchy or a balkanized government).

Worlds in other empires[edit]

Vargr worlds do not use these government codes, as they have the same range of governments that humans have. It is also worth pointing out, to certain less educated Imperial travellers, that the Solomani Confederation and Zhodani Consulate do not have alien government codes because they are not alien: they are human, for all their cultural differences.

Alien Government Codes & Descriptions
Code Name Race
G Small Station or Facility Aslan
H Split Clan Control Aslan
J Single On-world Clan Control Aslan
K Single Multi-world Clan Control Aslan
L Major Clan Control Aslan
M Vassal Clan Control Aslan
N Major Vassal Clan Control Aslan
P Small Station or Facility K'kree
Q Krurruna or Krumanak Rule for Off-world Steppelord K'kree
R Steppelord On-world Rule K'kree
S Sept Hiver
T Unsupervised Anarchy Hiver
U Supervised Anarchy Hiver
W Committee Hiver
X Droyne Hierarchy Droyne

Era: The New Era UWP extensions[edit]

Standard Government 0 thru F were kept, but the following were introduced in The New Era to reflect the changed nature of Charted Space. UWP catalogs contain the following additional codes:

New Era Government Codes & Descriptions
Code Name Description Power Source / Structure
M Military Dictatorship Government by the military (armed forces) as an interim survival measure or result of a "Coup". Oligarchy / Unitary State
Q Interim Government The world is ruled by a temporary government (...which may have been in power for some time). Oligarchy or Autocracy / Unitary State
S Slave World The world’s government is ineffectual or non-existent (i.e. not sovereign). The populace survives by offering tribute or slaves to an outside power (often Vampire ships) which does not care to rule the world directly. Anarchy / Democracy
T Technologically Elevated Dictator A leader or small group holds power through the use of relic technology. T.E.D.s are sometimes referred to as "(Autocratic) Technocracies". Autocracy / Unitary State
V Viral Hell Polity The world is run by malevolent "Viral Entities", ether openly or through a Quisling (manipulated) government. Anarchy / Democracy

Era: Fourth Imperium extensions[edit]

Additional Codes were introduced for specific regions during the Fourth Imperim era. The same code (N) is used in two different regions to represent two different government types.

New Era Government Codes & Descriptions
Code Name Description Power Source / Structure
N Noble House Sovereign government type dominated by Humans. Noble Houses rule Imperial worlds directly. The 'ruling' noble may be an absolute leader or the head of state for a civil government. Autocracy / Unified State

Organization of a Government[edit]

Governments are defined by two fundamental principles; The structure of the relationship between different parts of the governed bodies and where do they derive their power to rule.

Every government has three essential functions:

Legislative creates laws and sets policy. The job of the legislature is determining what government is going to do. This would include creating all the laws governing people, setting the tax rates and budgets, and so on.

Executive executes the policy and enforces the laws. It collects the taxes, spends the money according to the directives of the legislative process. The head of the executive also serves as head of state.

Judicial interprets the laws to ensure they are followed correctly by both the government and the people. When laws are broken, the judicial process determines which laws were violated and appropriate punishments.

How these functions are separated or combined defines governmental operation.

Power Structures[edit]

There are four primary power structure types most commonly found with the governments of Charted Space:

A society without a publicly enforced government or political authority, there is no state, or other centralized authority. Usually found as a consequence of the failure of another government and exists for a short time in these circumstances. It has been presented as a political philosophy advocating self-governed societies based on non-hierarchical, voluntary associations where people help each other. Stable anarchy attempts to avoid the use of coercion, violence, or force to achieve a stable and productive society.
Also known as a stateless society. What positions of authority exist are generally extremely-limited in power and scope, instead relying on widely-disparate economic and cultural organizational practices.
A group of independent and sovereign states, worlds, or systems united for specific purposes including mutual defense, economic or trade ties, or cultural or racial solidarity. Created by a treaty or collection of treaties, the confederation government serves the needs of the member states.
Group of states, worlds, or systems, each internally independent, joined into a union to which has surrendered certain rights and responsibilities, most generally to do with foreign affairs. There is a centralized government to determine policy within the sphere of granted authorities. The division of power between the states and the central government is formally constituted and may only be altered by agreement of all.
Unitary State
A unitary state is a state governed as a single power in which the central government is ultimately supreme. There is a single overall government for all people and territory with strong policies. Any administrative divisions exist only as directed by the central government.
Comparative Government Power Structures
System Centralization (Structure) Strengths Weaknesses
Anarchy Very low or None Gives no one significant control Sets insignificant or no policy
Confederation Low Gives local or state governments almost complete control Sets almost no significant uniform policies
Federation Medium Shared powers between local governments and central government Sacrifices uniformity on some issues
Unitary State High Central government sets uniform policies that direct the entire state Disregards local/planetary differences

Source of power[edit]

The source of power for a government is who ultimately makes the decisions about laws and policies. There are three broad groups for this source of decisions.

A system of government where supreme power is concentrated to a single person or polity. The decision of this person or group are not subjected to legal restraints as the group defines the law.
Democracy, meaning "rule of the people", is a system of government where citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body. The citizens resolve conflicts and determine laws and leadership by voting.
Oligarchy, meaning "rule of the few", is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. Like the autocracy the group decides and defines the laws without constraints.


How one of the three sources of power uses the structure of powers to construct a function government results in many different governments. Here are some examples of known governments throughout the history and scope of the Third Imperium. This is not a comprehensive list.

Anarchy states
No one in control without other social mechanisms to encourage order.
  • Barbarism
  • Chaos, or lack of government
  • Pantocracy: Government by Everyone
  • Adhocracy (Informal organization of specialized teams to address problems)
  • Sociocracy (Use of consent and discussion for decision making and organization)
Autocratic states
  • Autocracy (Supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person)
  • Constitutional Tyranny (An absolute ruler enabled by law or constitution)
  • Despotism (A single entity rules with absolute power)
  • Dictatorship (Political authority is monopolized by a single person or political entity)
  • Fascism (A form of radical authoritarian nationalism)
  • Monarchy (A single monarch form the whole of the government)
  • Totalitarianism (The state holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible)
Oligarchical States
  • Aristocracy (Rule by a small, privileged ruling class)
  • Diarohy (Shared rule by two people or groups)
  • Feudalism (Rule by the land owners in a structured hierarchy)
  • Kritarchy (Rule by judges and the judicial system)
  • Military Junta (Rule by high ranking military leaders)
  • Plutocracy (Rule by the wealthy)
  • Stratocracy (Rule by the military)
  • Technocracy (Government ruled by experts in the fields of the problems)
  • Technologically Elevated Dictator (One group enforces rule through superior technology)
  • Theocracy (Rule by religious organization through the high priests)
  • Timocracy (Rule by landowners or those able to produce wealth)
  • Triumvirate (Rule by three rulers or groups)
Democratic States
Government by large groups of Sophonts
  • Democratic Republic (People elect representatives)
  • Direct Democracy or Pure Democracy (A form of democracy in which people decide policy directly)
  • Electronic Democracy or Internet Democracy or E-Democracy (A form of democracy that uses advanced communications technology to encourage direct policy decisions from a populace)
  • Limited Monarchy (Parliamentary Democracy)
  • Ochlocracy (Mob rule through intimidation of other groups)
  • Polyarchy
  • Representative Democracy or Indirect Democracy (A variety of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people)
  • Stochocracy (Selection of elected official by lot or lottery)

See also[edit]

Artistic Practices[edit]


Third Imperium[edit]

Universal world profile[edit]

§ == ( Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information: ) == §


Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.