Welcome to Part 22 of my World Building blog series 😀 I’ll be covering just about every topic I can think of that goes into world crafting. If you have any topics you’d like me to write about, please let me know 🙂
What type of government do each of the relevant countries in your world have? I’m not going to explain all the various options, because Google exists, but in case that’s too much effort, here’s a run down: https://www.livescience.com/33027-what-are-the-different-types-of-governments.html
Once you’ve figured that part out and decided which varieties of government you’re going to employ, ask yourself: have these countries always had this type of government AND are they going to keep it in this story?The most common one you’re going to run into in fantasy is probably a monarchy.
The government you choose is going to be creating the law of the land and that is going to impact your characters a lot. We’ve previously discussed legalties in world building, so I won’t reiterate too much here, but be aware that unjust laws are a catalyst for change. The government you put in place can provide the necessary plot points to get the story rolling and give your characters something big and powerful to fight against.
You want to choose the type of government that best suits your story and the situations your characters are going to encounter. How do your characters and society as a whole feel about the current government system? Is it functional? Is it corrupt? What are the challenges and benefits to it? If you’ve been following the series you’ll have your religion developed at this point. What is the separation of church and state like?
What are the hierarchies within the governments you’ve chosen? Is there mobility within it? How are leaders selected and how are they removed if there’s a need for it? Which groups are allowed to participate?
What rights are the citizens afforded? How involved are they in the government processes? Do people vote and if so, for what? What makes a person eligible to vote? Who is deciding policy? How can laws and policies be contested?
How far does the power and control of the government extend? Do they have authority only over specific groups or everyone? Does the concept of citizenship exist? Are you beholden to the country of your birth even if you leave it? Alternatively, how does immigration and citizenship work if your characters are going to a new country?