- It is a kind of society capable of forming a stable government or polity.
- Pocket Empires rarely occupy an astrographic location greater than a Subsector in size. Most occupy and control a small cluster or trace sized area.
- A single world-government or world-state is known as Non-Aligned and form part of Balkanized Space.
The term Empire is generic, and the the actual form of government may range from a loose "trade association" to a "republic" to a full "dictatorship" or many, many other variations.
Key Identifier Characteristics
- Almost every budding interstellar polity experiences the limitations of communication over distance, and the gradual drift of colonies from the homeworld.
Pocket empires have existed since the discovery of spaceflight.
- The Vilani, Zhodani, Hiver and a number of minor races all had pocket empires (or larger) using only sublight space craft.
- With access to the Jump drive, it becomes easier and more profitable to maintain a small empire.
There are, broadly speaking, two sources of pocket empires:
- Pocket Empires (Grown) are built from a single world to a multi-system government.
- Pocket Empires (Preserved) are maintained (preserved) after the collapse of a larger Empire (survivors).
There is no significant difference between the two except from a historical perspective. Examples of the former are the numerous small states beyond the border of the Imperium.
- Pocket Empires (Grown): Some claim that the entire Vargr Extents is an "oversized collection of pocket empires."
- Pocket Empires (Preserved): These Pocket Empires include a number of small empires, which outlasted their parent government (polity) through the Long Night or after the Collapse. While these Pocket Empires often maintain the same name as their parent government (polity), they are more properly regarded as successor states.
Standard Polity Growth Sequence
- Proto-Society → Band Society → Tribal Society or Chiefdom → City-State → Nation-State → World-State → Pocket Empire → Interstellar State → Intergalactic State → Final State → Singularity