A nation that I am creating is ruled by a council (from what I can find on Wikipedia, closest to a kraterocracy) which gained power by overthrowing the previous king. The king, and those before him, are from one sort of mini-nation, while the council is from another. These two nations are united under the rule of the council (previously the king). If I give the nation an unofficial name, say, Countryland, for this question (similar to the way "America" is the unofficial name for the "United States of America"), then how would the country be named? I've considered "Confederation of Countryland," but it doesn't seem right considering there are only two members. Please try to include examples of other organizations with similar structures either from literature, movies, games, etc. or from real life.

  • $\begingroup$ Historically it would depend on the council members executive powers and protocol of accession and the scope of authority. If the council voted to settle disputes then it would be a republic. If the council was comprised of rulers who essentially acted as kings it would be an Empire. A kraterocracy would be much more appropriate to describe a junta. Confederacy is a loose federal system, where the council would mainly govern trade and international affairs and mediate between the members, while the members themselves are autonomous with regard to internal affaires $\endgroup$
    – user110866
    Apr 23 '20 at 1:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Czechoslovakia (= compound name made of the names of the two consituents). Yugoslavia (= "land of the southern Slavs", generic geographical name). Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Austria-Hungary (used only in foreign relations; internally, Austria was the Austrian Empire and Hungary was the Kingdom of Hungary, and the few common institutions were called "Imperial and Royal" Navy, Army, etc.) All the Russias (= Great, Little and White Russia, a.k.a. Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia). Lotharingia (from the name of the first king). Union of Kalmar (from the city where the treaty was signed). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Apr 23 '20 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ Name would depend on the actual political process. The names are picked to serve the political aims of the winners not for some academic accuracy. If a country wants people to think it is a Republic it will be. If they want to stress unity of the various parts the name will probably have "United" in it. If it has a clear geographic or historical identity that will be in the name. Just start by thinking: Who picked the name? What was their political agenda and vision for the country? How is that reflected in the name? $\endgroup$ Apr 24 '20 at 17:44

Oligarchy is the general term for the rule of a country by a few people, which would include rule by committee. A kraterocracy is a form of oligarchy.


A federation or confederation both denote a group of states that are acting as one. Technically, a confederation typically refers to voluntary participants, while a federation refers to involuntary participants. For example: US states are considered a federation because while individual states made a choice to join, they are not unilaterally allowed to leave. But, neither of these are really precise terms. A group of countries that voluntarily participate in trade agreements could be considered a confederation, while a group of countries with strict rules that place demands on its members (like NATO or the Warsaw Pact) could be considered a federation.

In the US we say that we have a bicameral legislature, meaning that we have two bodies of legislature that have to agree with each other to get anything done. In our case we have the House of Representatives and the Senate. This generally only applies to the legislative branch, but it sounds like your situation has a mashup of legislative and executive power.

The executive-branch equivalent of the bicameral legislature is called the semi-presidential or dual-executive system. For example, some countries have a popularly elected president that wields some executive power and a prime minister that is elected and accountable to a parliamentary body.

As to how people describe the country: usually the victor gets to set the name. We call North Korea the Democratic People's Republic of Korea even though it is not democratic nor a republic nor does it act in the best interest of its people. Similarly, when Russia expanded into the USSR we called it the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics even though many member states weren't really soviet, they weren't republics, they were actually puppet states without autonomy, and they arguably weren't even socialist if you think Stalinist-style communism wasn't real socialism.

But, some similar descriptions to federation could be:

  • League of Countryland
  • Alliance of Countryland
  • Union of Countryland
  • Countryland Coalition
  • Countryland Combine
  • Countryland Consortium
  • Countryland Pact

Sometimes when two political entities join they just hyphenate their name. For example, an area near the French and German border is called Alsace-Lorraine because it was formed by joining ALsace and Lorraine together.


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