Interordinate relations

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Interordinate relations (inter-, "between"; ordinatio, "government, order") are the relations between different states. More generally, it is the field of knowledge dealing with the analysis of diplomacy and of state systems.

Messenian model

Sirian world

Cairan world

In the Cairan world, the modern conception of the state started to form during the late feudal period (15th and 16th centuries). At its basis, it was made possible by the political changes that followed the Secote occupation. Indeed, the previous system of the Ecclesiarchy was torn apart by the Secote ruling elites, who had little trust in the predominantly urban Sabamanian elites or the Cairan clergy. Feudalism and the intellectual movement of Orange Revivalism led to the gradual emergence of the notion of separate "powers": the spiritual power that took care of the Argan's affairs (and justice), and the temporal power that managed the more traditional affairs ascribed to the city. In effect, this was a revitalisation of the state of affairs that existed in the 1st millennium BCE, before the Cairan clergy had fused with the imperial bureaucracy.

With Orange Revivalism becoming dominant and squashing attempts at reforming an Ecclesiarchy-like system, the notion of the state started to crystallise around the secular rulers and the bureaucracies they controlled. Feudalism had also introduced a structured and complex hierarchy of rulers, with different titles. However, the influence of the Ecclesiarchy remained extent in Catholicism, where post-Orangism thoughts focused on the establishment of a secular emperor ruling over all the Cairans. Overall, although there was an increased division of the Cairan world, they still perceived themselves a greater religious community tied by the clergy and the emperor, instead of a juxtaposition of separate states.

The watershed moment of the foundation of the modern state in the Cairan world is usually ascribed to the crowning of Prince Maxime of Flessandre as King of Dordanie in 1461. For the first time the notion of a sovereign of intermediate rank between the emperor and princes was introduced. Originally a compromise used to elevate Maxime to a higher rank without having to forge an agreement between the clergy and the nobility, and without too much of a backlash from other rulers, the title quickly spread among the most powerful rulers of the Sabamic world.

Kings quickly differentiated themselves from princes by the amount of land they controlled, and the advanced centralisation of those estates. Sovereigns of this rank were the first to yield such large authority, which was previously the domain of emperors only. They also received the acclamation of their parliament, another symbol previously associated with the emperor only.

In the mean time, the Argan's political role had been placed under threat. In Savam, the collapse of the Old Argan of Savam in the late 15th century and its re-foundation on Orangist principles greatly reduced the clergy's political clout. By ending the de facto schism and bankrolling the new argan, the secular sovereign of Dordanie had ensured secular power preeminence.

It should be noted that the dynamic between secular and religious power is not the same in all parts of the Cairan world. While the Sabamic world has the most advanced separation and domination of secular power over the clergy, in Odann the clergy, albeit separate from the secular administration, still exercises strong political influence and remains to this day on an equal footing to secular power.

From the 16th century, catholic ideals became more and more distant as the division of the Cairan world grew. The idea that inside the regnum, the kingdom, the sovereign had ultimate authority and that there was no external superior became the norm, leading to the notions of sovereignty and non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state.

This was further reinforced by the permanent establishment of the Ecumenical Sorority and the recognition of "sovereignty" in religious affairs for each national argans. In the past the Argan has claimed universality. Some Argans overlapped between different states of equal status, as for example the Argan of Savam with the kingdoms of Dordanie and Quènie. While both states could agree to the idea of a hypothetical secular suzerain (see the Imperial Question) and to form a united argan, they both recognised that the domain of the King and Argan of Elland were completely separate from theirs. There was no more claim to an universal political or religious dominion.

States in Vaestism

Historical overview

The development of the modern Vaestic state is characterised by rapid changes and the converging influences of diverse historical forces. Since its beginning, Vaestism has claimed for itself an authority encompassing all fields of social life, dictating the need for society to be run by those with correct Knowledge. For a long period, the universality of the Vaestic faith was paralleled by the universality of its political institutions. Until the establishment of the Neritsovid Empire, the entire Vaestic community was governed ultimately by the Scholar-Marshals of the Prysostaia, who delegated officials to serve as Vocation Scholars in new territories as the faith continued to spread. It was neither practicable nor possible, however, for the Prysostaia to direct and manage the entire Vaestic community in the way one might expect of a functioning government, and different Vaestic communities were continually experimenting with different approaches to the social practice of religion, necessitating continual and only partially successful drives for orthodoxy from the centre. Moreover, the sovereignty of the Prysostaia was limited in extent, and extensive Vaestic communities existed in other states such as the Tirfatsevid Empires, where real political power rested in the hands of heathen monarchs.

This complex situation changed dramatically with the foundation of Great Neritsia, the first sovereign Vaestic empire, at the end of the 15th century. Neritsia gradually came to take on the status of a universal Vaestic state, with successive Neritsovid Emperors mandating the establishment of new Banners and claiming the right of protection over the Prysostaia itself. With the combination of the positions of Emperor and Universal Prophet under the first Prophet-Emperor, Sobiebor II Zakon, Vaestic claims to sovereignty were realised unambiguously, and Vaestism established itself definitively as the unitary framework for state relations in Outer Joriscia. Even after the conversion of rulers outside the direct reach of the Neritsovid state, Neritsia remained characterised by its hyperimperial hegemony over the continent, unchallengeable by any of the external powers in its vicinity. Political reality thus reflected religious ideals. The existence of this empire preserved a sense of monolithic unity within Vaestism, as all Vaestic rulers were forced to contend more or less directly with the supremacy of the Neritsovid Prophet-Emperor.

The 1617 Cession of Ekhpur began the process of defining the outlines of future states within the Neritsovid Empire.

The dramatic collapse of Neritsia over the course of the late 17th century caused this universal order to disintegrate. The new Terophatic Empire laid claim to the heritage of the heathen Tirfatsevids as a source of legitimacy, posing a challenge to the picture of ultimate Vaestic sovereignty as the underpinning of state legitimation. Thus, for a long period, the reality of interordinate relations in Outer Joriscia fell into a severe dissonance with the traditional Vaestic conception of political organisation, which saw the Prysostaia leading or acting as the pivot of an ordered, universal Vaestic society. While Neritsia was gone, it continued to cast a long shadow over developments in Outer Joriscia. All but one of the independent states thrown up by the fragmentation of Neritsia could draw their history back to the actions of a Neritsovid emperor; even the Terophatic exception came to lay some claim to the Neritsovid heritage.

This period of ambiguity lasted until the 1840s, when the Neritsovid ghost, still personified in the Azophine remnant, was finally laid to rest. The settlement of the Great Peninsular War established three clearly distinct imperial crowns: the Terophatic, the Chotarian (Lacrean), and the Azophine, though the latter was upheld by a regency. The notion, and hope, that Vaestic universality could yet be reflected once more in political practice was destroyed by the settlement laid down in the Treaty of Tharamann, which firmly established in the Vaestic heartland the state sovereignty already typified by outside powers such as Agamar and the Lutoborsk. As the Radiance grew to its heights, new ideas of state organisation and the notion of Banner interest, refined and formulated by the proponents of the three principles of politics, began to reshape conceptions of the Outer Joriscian order, firmly dissociating state power and interests from the universal laws of Vaestism. Diplomacy became a legitimate art in its own right, providing an alternative to the laborious and often dishonest contortions of Vaestic hierology which had hitherto characterised formal relations between states.

The territorial extent of the Vaestic system in Joriscia.

However, the relationship between Vaestism and the political structures of Outer Joriscia continued to live on. Above all, states continued to be legitimated by Vaestic beliefs: in the world of Vaestic ideology, rulers elected by virtue of their Knowledge continued to guide organized Banners in accordance with Vaestic teachings. Far from competing, however, the Banner and the reality of secular state came to complement each other, allowing the establishment of the loose satellite state hierarchies that are familiar to this day, while providing an ideological framework for understanding the state: the so-called "banner-state". Instead of the sharp dissonance of the 18th century, Vaestic ideas had evolved to reflect and dynamically influence the political situation.

This concept of the legitimacy of independence posed problems for the role of the Prysostaia, however. Now more than ever before, the Universal Prophet, head of this central School, was dependent not on an ideal, universal Vaestic community, but on a layer of fractious and competing governments for his election. By the 1920s, the position itself had fallen into abeyance, symbolically completing at last the shift from universal hegemony to plural competition within a universal framework. The Long War reinforced this new reality, and it is this inheritance which was crystallised by the Kethpor Accords to form the Vaestic half of the modern Kethpor System. Though its legitimacy has fallen into ideological dispute, it has substantially persevered for the past half-century. While the banner-states continue in their systemic and ideological divergence, the framework of the Vaestic state sets firm limits on state action, and guides the institutional realisation of interactions between the Vaestic states of Outer Joriscia. The monolithic "Vaestdom" of earlier centuries has become a broader framework of relations, universal but not hegemonic, institutional and not power-political, providing the environment for the Vaestic model of the state and not the model itself.

The banner-state

The banner-states of Outer Joriscia:
- Agamar
- Azophin
- Lacre
- Lutoborsk
- The Prysostaia
- Rania
- Terophan
- Zemay

The notion of the banner-state can be understood as the building block of the Vaestic state system. It can be summarised by the notion that the Vaestic Banner "realises" the sovereignty of the state to which it is tied. The Banner is the ideological atomic division of Vaestic society: a single community united under one standard, structured in one way. Above all, a Banner, in the Messenian understanding, is led by a state, which fulfils the principal leadership functions of the Banner. Banner-states are functionally independent actors, since the Banner legitimates the exercise of state authority and constitutes its limits.

By contrast, a marshalate is a state that exists within a Banner: for example, Ephgil is a marshalate of Agamar, and this is reflected in the title and status of its rulers, as well as the practical influence of Agamar over the country. Marshalates, by contrast to the overarching banner-state, are not properly sovereign and thus do not formally constitute fully independent actors in the Vaestic state system. This subordination is symbolised in numerous ways: prominently, the title of the state leader (both secular, e.g. "King" rather than "Emperor", and ritual, i.e. High Marshal rather than Standard-Bearer) and the lack of a flag (marshalates are granted colours). Outer Joriscia can therefore be conceptualised as a limited group of independent banner-states which exercise authority over subordinate marshalate states.

While the marshalate is not sovereign, neither is the banner-state always practically sovereign over it. Rather than a set of independently existing and interlocking empires, banner-states can often penetrate other banner-states and actively disorganise their internal hierarchies. Under the Terophatic Ascendancy, for instance, Seter was effectively administered by Terophite advisers despite being a marshalate of the Azophine empire. Hence, while the banner-state is an uncontroversial fact of Outer Joriscian politics, its reality is considerably more complex than the mid-19th-century, Tharamannic ideal of static, independent, coexisting imperial crowns.

It is worth also noting the further, unique, anomaly of Trans-Tormetia, where two banner-states are acknowledged formally to intersect. In the ideal framework of independent empires, this shared sovereignty presents no great conceptual problem, since it exists by the free consent of both powers, and relies explicitly upon the surrounding underlying institutions and concepts. It is an anomaly, but not an aberration.

Between models

Inner Joriscia

Neutral Lestria

Civilisation and the uncivilised powers


The Kethpor System

While "the Kethpor System" is a widely-used term referring to the modern framework of global interordinate relations, its precise meaning is far from obvious. It would be false to suggest that the Congress of Kethpor, which established the System in 1959, represented a radical break in historical development. Much of the enduring influence of the Congress derives from its symbolic and practical precedent rather than the explicit prescriptions adopted in the Kethpor Accords. Functionally, the Kethpor System is the institutional framework that connects the Messenian and Joriscian systems of interordinate relations at the global level. The System therefore necessitated the identification of a common ground of meaning on which both civilisations could operate. This sphere of mutual interests and responsibilities was set out in the preamble to the Accords, often referred to separately as the Kethpor Proclamation.

Decisions of the Kethpor Congress

Triumph of power politics

Conflict of civilisations vs. transsystemic instability

Routinisation of crisis