Government type in which each member polity rules itself but all belong to one governmental body. These polities must follow certain common standards of conduct and by agreement yield some powers to their common government. Specifics of this arrangement vary a great deal. In general, the greater the cultural differences between the member polities and the greater the distance between them the less extensive and more subtle the powers of the overall governing body must be. In the Information Age of Old Earth, India, the United States of America and Brazil were examples of large nations-states with a federal structure, while the European Union, Azanian Alliance, 'Greater Brazil' and other regional federations were themselves composed of nation-states. These looser models served in the Interplanetary Age and Nanotech Age on Mars and in the latter Gengineer Republic. Regional federations of polities, such as those that grew up between the bubblehabs and orbitals of Saturn eventually brought a close to the Interplanetary Dark Age in Solsys. Even broader and more sophisticated structures capable of spanning relativistic distances and radical differences between clades made The First Federation possible. Other somewhat similar advances led to the later the Second Federation and still later to the ComEmp Period, though the component of transapient interaction in those arrangements is so large that the political terms used by ordinary sophonts do not apply in any exact sense.