Condominium

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The Condominium as a Political Unit

The condominium, which is a rare and unstable form of sovereignty *here*, is the norm, or at least part of the norm, in Ill Bethisad. It's quite common for alliances to group across each others' boundaries.

A condominium, rather simply put, is an area of shared governance. Practically speaking, this means that an area is under the jurisdiction of two governing bodies. While sometimes a condominium springs up organically out of a new need for cooperative government; it is usually the case that two governing bodies approach the notion of forming a condominium and do so with careful planning and implementation. One such Rube Goldberg condominium that was more or less thrown together out of immediate need was the one at Tampa City in East Florida. The group of treaties and constitutions that make up a condominium spell out which governing body have jurisdiction over what, at which times and under predetermined circumstances.

The true POD between IB and *here* I think is not any particular choice of historical actors, but the fact that in IB the virtues of strong stable alliances, coordinated in a variety of different ways (federations, committees of correspondence, weak but prestigious emperors, etc.) were discovered early and often and have become the dominant force in modern political life. The League of Ice, to mention the more recent condominiums, incorporates polities that "belong" to Russia, Scandinavia, the NAL, and New Francy. In IB a smaller unit "belongs" to a bigger one not in the sense of being possessed, but in the sense that people "belong" to their clubs or other voluntary societies.

Type of Condominiums

Top Most Condominium

The country is autonomous all internal aspect but the head of state (and probably head of ministries and government agency) needs to be accepted by both Mother Countries (MC). Alternatively, some from of elected parliement submit a list of candidate to both MC who chose one from among it.

Inhabitants have originaly only the citizenship of the condominium but are probably able to gain one of the MC's one more easily and/or can get a special type of visa to work and study in the MC.

This is probably best for buffer states. It doesn't cost anything to maintain (due to their autonomy) and the mandatory confirmation of head of state ensure that it wont be one that favour one MC over the other.

Confederated Enclaves

The condominium is divided into 2 or more enclaves. Each one is considered a part of one MC and its inhabitant have its citizenship. There is a central government with very limited powers (mostly things like ensuring the maintenance of roads, postal services, etc...). If there is a great number of enclaves spread all over the place, giving the land condominium status could have been the best way to avoid starting (or more probably, restarting) a war over borders. The confederation is probably not considered a distinct country by other governments and organisations (no olympic delegation or embassy for example).

Partial Condominium

Part of the country is controled by 2 or more MCs. the parts in question might be contiguous with an MC or might be inhabited by an ethnic group related to it. The central government is sovereign except is certain matters within those zones. These matters could be cultural (the curriculum on a zone being dictated by a given MC) or physical (no engineering work is allow in the zone without the MC permission).

This type of condominium (which is pretty much what jervaine would be *there*) could be a more forcefull type of "top most condominium" described above. Alternatively, it could be an occupied country on its way toward recovering autonomy: the government is sovereign over the country except for matters regarding the demilitarized zones near the MCs borders.

True Condominium

There is no central government but rather, decision are taken by concensus between the local representatives of the MCs. Various regions could be administered by unelected representative that answer to one MC (depending on the situation, military governor, company officials, etc...) or they may alternate governance between them.

If there is (or was) a native population, its right and obligations might vary from one region to another where they may or may not have some form of representative. MCs citizens might be "above the law" in regard to the native population but would still have to answer to his own government (there might be an agreement that citizens must be tried by there own MCs no matter where a crime was commited).

This is the most unstable of condominium (and historicaly real) and its probably safe to assume that few if any modern ones still exist on IB.

Examples of Condominiums *Here*

As you might expect, the number of areas in condominium is in doubt, though 10 is a plausible upper bound. It is clear that the Moselle border between Germany and Luxembourg, running northward from the triple point with France, is under fully shared sovereignty. Similarly, there are various riverine islands between France and Spain that have shared sovereignty: on the Ile de la Conference, e.g., jurisdiction is Spanish for six months of the year and French for the rest, but each country claims the right to try its own nationals for offenses committed there at any season.

There is a de facto condominium around the Honduras-El Salvador-Nicaragua triple point due to complex and confusing border disputes that the World Court has already tried to settle once, but new evidence keeps turning up. Iran claims that the Caspian Sea is not partitioned among the five countries surrounding it, but is in condominium; this claim is apparently resisted by the other four, but they don't agree on the boundaries either.

In effect, all the existing condominium regions *here* are either under water, unoccupied or barely occupied islands, or else are de facto situations for which there is no better solution. There are also some places where jurisdiction is shared or even transferred (Guantanamo, for example) without the creation of a full condominium.

The Condominium in *Here*'s History

Historically, much larger places have been in condominium. Sudan, for example, used to be a condominium from 1899-1956 under joint British and Egyptian sovereignty. The now independent nation of Vanuatu was from 1906 until 1980 a British-French condominium.

Here's a description of the latter from www.vanuatutourism.com (errors silently corrected):

It was called the Condominium. In most circles it was soon to become known as Pandemonium and was probably the single most inappropriate form of rule any group of peoples had to live under.

The New Hebrides Condominium comprised of a joint court ruled over by a Spanish judge who spoke neither French nor English, a Dutch registrar and completely dual functioning bureaucracies. In real terms it meant passing through two sets of Customs on arrival, dealing with two law systems based on quite different principles, two jails (the French served wine), two hospitals, two....well, two of everything. It was grossly inefficient, incredibly costly in bureaucratic terms and totally ridiculous in the eyes of the world. Towards the end of its life, the NHC was effectively ruled by the heads of state of Britain and France, the British Queen and the French President. Issues were so confused that many ni-Vanuatu believed the two were married, but because of the varying ups and downs in the relationship, the pair lived apart, separated by the English Channel and a lot of arguing. This explained the conflicts and inconsistencies in the relationships -- or lack of same -- between the French Consuls and British High Commissioners, and in the tragicomedy of errors running the New Hebrides.

What differentiates the condominium regions of IB from those of OTL is the presence of substantial non-colonized native populations who have discovered that condominium is a good way to prevent either nation from stepping on local rights. In OTL, however, such areas tend to be neglected by both sides because they are seen as unstable and unimportant.

There is a pressure towards unitary nation-states in OTL simply because there are already so many of them that becoming a nation-state oneself seems the appropriate path toward self-determination. In IB, the expectations are different: groups try to find appropriate organizations to belong to so that each can help protect them from imperialism on the part of the others. Wars unquestionably become more complicated, and harder to wage, because the web of treaties and national associations causes an aggressor to risk biting off more than he can chew.

Condominium territories *there*

Historical condominiums *there*

Language Note

Condominium, as a word, comes in two varieties. One is the abstract noun meaning "condition of shared sovereignty" -- it takes neither definite article nor plural ending. Otherwise, when describing the regions that are in the "condition of shared sovereignty", there is also a concrete noun which may take articles and a plural form.

[PB, JC]


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