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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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Old March 30th, 2015, 02:57 AM
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Default The Solomani Confederation Member-State

In Classic Traveller, the Near Bo÷tes cluster, the Thetis-Luputa coalition, and Kukulcan are usually cited as examples of how the Solomani Confederation differs from the Imperium:
Originally Posted by ”Library Data N-Z”
Because of the greater degree of local autonomy that exists in the Solomani Confederation, interworld factionalism exists to a much greater degree than would be allowed in the Imperium. Coalitions of worlds exist outside the normal government channels, sometimes equaling them in importance within a given region (page 19).
MegaTraveller largely takes this idea and runs with it, adding the concept of the strong member-state:
Originally Posted by ”Solomani and Aslan: The Rimward Races”
Member-states are political or commercial groupings of multiple systems, organized under central governments. Their origins lie with the interstellar governments extant before the Charter [of the Confederation]. Although they respect the Confederation’s ultimate authority in matters of general concern, they enjoy considerable autonomy in their local affairs. A prime example is the Confederation’s willingness to let loyal member-states maintain their own military forces. . . . The member-states dominate the Confederation politically, economically, and culturally, for their influence exceeds that of any single system (page 8).
Allowing member states to join intact was crucial to the foundation of the Confederation: “In 871 the delegates finally agreed on a plan that kept member-states independent, yet spelled out a cooperative arrangement to be used when needed” (p. 25).

Several important member-states are described in Solomani and Aslan, including the Wuan Technology Association, the Protectorate of Cthonia, and the Turin Consolidation. The Near Bo÷tes cluster worlds are described as belonging to the Bo÷tean Federation.

The member state concept is interesting and makes the Confederation a very different and more textured polity than the Imperium. However, subsequent sources largely walk back from this idea. GURPS Traveller, for example, generally ignores it in favor of unofficial alliances:
Originally Posted by ”GURPS Traveller: Rim of Fire”
The Imperium had discouraged (though not strictly prohibited) multiworld governing structures, insisting that the Imperium itself should provide all such functions for its member worlds. The Solomani Movement was more willing to allow worlds under its control to manage their own affairs, setting up multiworld alliances to pursue their own interests (p. 56).
Mongoose Traveller is clearly aware of the MT member-state concept, but explicitly rejects it while taking great pains to ret-con many of the member-states described in Solomani and Alien into looser alliances or associations:
Originally Posted by ”Mongoose Traveller: Alien Module 5 - Solomani”
Multi-World Alliances: The worlds that joined the Confederation included several multi-world alliances, a few of them dating back to pre-Imperial times, as well as scattered Human pocket empires on the rimward and trailing frontier. These states agreed or were induced to join the Confederation as individual worlds but continue to maintain some of their old relationships, often formalised through reciprocal free trade pacts or mutual assistance treaties between their respective governments and Home Guards. The majority of power in the Confederation lies with independent worlds but informal or formal multi-world alliances do wield significant economic power in some subsectors. Along with the various ideological Party factions they also control blocs of votes in the Secretariat and used it to gain advantage over economic rivals. . . . SolSec keeps a close eye on such internal associations, balancing the risks that intervention could destabilise important worlds with the danger that regional rivalries and trade wars could escalate into a conflict that threatens the internal peace and cohesion of the Confederation itself. Instability on or near the Imperial or Aslan borders could also attract foreign intervention (page 36).
Originally Posted by ”Mongoose Traveller: Alien Module 5 - Solomani
Associations: Existing outside the formal organisation of Confederation government are various regional association of worlds that can deal with local issues without the need to refer them to the slow-moving Secretariat on Home. The most significant of these are the Consolidation of Turin and the Orichalc Regional Defence Association (ORDA) (page 132).
So, why did the post-MT sources reject the concept of the strong, formal Confederation member-state in favor of weaker multi-world alliances, coalitions, and associations? Is the idea of strong Confederation member states compatible with the OTU? If so, is it worth resurrecting?
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