[[quoteright:330:[[Franchise/StarTrek http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/330px-United_Federation_of_Planets_flag_9848.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330: United-Nations-esque logo and [[BlueIsHeroic soothing blue tones]] optional, but recommended.]]

->'''Fry:''' DOOP? What's that?\\
'''Farnsworth:''' It's similar to the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations from your time, Fry.\\
'''Fry:''' Uh...\\
'''Hermes:''' Or like the Federation from your ''Franchise/StarTrek'' program.\\
'''Fry:''' Oh!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''

The (mostly) good counterpart to TheEmpire, generally a democracy and/or presided over by {{Reasonable Authority Figure}}s, and a superstate composed of many different nations and races, inspired by the structure of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica United States]] or the [[UnitedNationsIsASuperPower United Nations]]. The actual name may vary, but not by much. It is likely to have the words "Federation", "United", "Alliance" or equivalent verbiage somewhere in the official title.

In most [[SciFi sci-fi]] settings, [[HumansAreSpecial the Federation is predominantly human]] (or composed of humans, HumanAliens and RubberForeheadAliens), usually commands a fleet of {{Standard Human Spaceship}}s, and is most likely to look the closest to TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture when the other factions may be CrystalSpiresAndTogas, OrganicTechnology or both. Expect its Capital to be the ShiningCity and its citizens to [[DressCodedForYourConvenience wear]] anything ''but'' SpikesOfVillainy or PuttingOnTheReich.

Rarely evil, but will sometimes suffer from [[ObstructiveBureaucrat red tape]], and the occasional {{corrupt politician}}s and/or [[GeneralRipper generals]]. When they are evil, The Federation will oppose the independence of a number of colonies, whether space colonies in orbit, Mars or other planets in the system, or on entirely different systems. Even in this case, the main opposing force may be shown to be {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s and/or an example of TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized, willing to hurt innocent people to try to gain their independence, or worse, being used as a front for a truly evil BigBad. The heroes will usually be either among the [[LawfulGood good soldiers]] of the Federation or [[NeutralGood neutral parties]] who get caught up in the war; this is especially true in {{anime}}. In this case, The Federation will be seen as the lesser of [[GrayAndGrayMorality two evils]]. Occasionally you will get a PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny.

If pitted against TheEmpire, is usually in a UsefulNotes/ColdWar-like state, just recovering from a recent war, or a few international incidents from plunging into one. They often give covert aid (weapons, funds, supplies) to any [[LaResistance resistance movements]], but won't intervene directly unless they're already at war. In general, it frequently plays an America-like role in the political climate of the setting. If there's a movement to overthrow or undermine it, it's likely TheRemnant.

A "federation" is a relatively loose conglomeration of states with common goals and purposes, coordinated by a central government that's independent of them all, and from which they have a certain amount of autonomy. The oldest continuous federation and probably the best known example in the real world is the United States of America (its federal government has over the years grown a lot stronger than it originally was but the US still retains a federal character). Another example is Russia: not only is its official name "Russian Federation", but most of the lands with a significant ethnic population, like Chechnya, are highly autonomous regions known as "republics". The Swiss Confederation is also an example. It should be noted, however, that many so-called "federations" in fiction are nothing of the sort. If the group acts much more like a single country than a bunch of mostly autonomous states, it's probably TheRepublic.

Note that a 'Confederation' is typically a conglomeration of states that are even more loosely bound than a Federation, the primary difference is that in a Confederation, the federal good is 'never' allowed to outweigh the good of the individual state. Switzerland is a modern example of a successful confederal democracy (today, however, it is a federation that retains the name of a confederation). The United Arab Emirates is an example of a confederation of absolute monarchies.[[note]]In practice the two largest emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have significantly more power than the other five, with their monarchs being the president and prime minister of the confederation, respectively.[[/note]] Some authors consider the European Union to be a confederation, though it is usually seen as a unique, sui generis entity. In fiction, Confederations are typically portrayed as (at best) antagonistic neutrals and at worst, bad guys. This seems to be a holdover from the US civil war.

Compare and contrast TheAlliance, usually a more temporary union of nations against a common enemy. Also compare the FictionalUnitedNations, where the overall governing body is weaker, it may contain both good and evil members, and it is much less unified (no unified military, and not treated as a single state by outsiders).


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Several in the ''{{Franchise/Gundam}}'' series. The Federations are portrayed as flawed:
** The Earth Federation in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''. It does not allow citizens in space colonies to vote or have any say in politics (and it was responsible for exiling many of the colonists to space in the first place), leading to many, many independence groups forming. However, it's the "gray" in the series' BlackAndGrayMorality, contrasted against the [[PuttingOnTheReich Nazi-emulating]] [[TheEmpire Principality of Zeon]].
*** The Federation gets worse in ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'', with the [[StateSec Titans]] - a corrupt branch that is just as bad, if not worse, than Zeon and ruthlessly suppresses any opposition, including gassing a whole colony.
*** After the Titans are purged the Federation is less actively malicious, but still corrupt and ineffectual. ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' sees most Federation officials more concerned with currying favour with the BigBad than stopping her, while they're merely worryingly oblivious in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack'' (and, in this case, the heroes technically work for them).
*** When you actually look at the history, the Federation is going through one long decline throughout the entirety of the Universal Century, so much so, that by ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'', it is pretty much irrelevant, and in ''Film/GSaviour'' it has collapsed completely to be replaced by CONSENT (which is [[TheEmpire the other trope]]).
*** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' shows the aforementioned downfall and attempts at reversing as being a long, protracted consequence of the Federation's StartOfDarkness: the concealment and manipulation of Laplace's Box (itself containing the original, utopian vision for the Universal Century), all in an effort to maintain power over all humanity.
** The United Earth Sphere Alliance of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', appropriately enough, evolves from TheAlliance to this over several decades before the series begins. While its leadership on Earth is ''mostly'' accepted as peaceful if heavy-handed, it becomes the target of the protagonists for its military rule over the colonies in space. In a subversion, it's overthrown early in the series, but its legacy holds on throughout.
*** The Earth Sphere Unified Nation from later in ''Gundam Wing'', in contrast, is one of the most benevolent and peaceful examples in the whole ''Gundam'' franchise. Ironically, it's founded by the [[TheEmpire aristocratic Romefeller Foundation]] to finally end Earth's conflicts under the name of the "World Nation".
** The Atlantic and Eurasian Federations in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed''. Though part of an alliance of Earth superstates, they're the major influences of that side. Typical for Gundam, both have negative aspects. Though allies, both powers mistrust each other. The Atlantic Federation is prejudiced against Coordinators, influenced by the Blue Cosmos terror group.
** The Earth Sphere Federation from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' is just a pawn for a tyrannical mastermind, abusing its political power against whoever opposes his reign - and do not forget his right-hand men, the [[StateSec A-LAWS]], either. Once the A-Laws and it's masters fall, the Federation becomes ''much'' more nicer. By the time of the movie, the Federation is pretty much near Franchise/StarTrek's level of benevolence. In addition there's The Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations and the Advanced European Union (AEU). Averting the franchise trend, both groups are actually pretty nice, save for their Cold War with each other and the occasional political turmoil with it's members.
** ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' has the United Nations Earth in the {{Backstory}}. It is mostly destroyed in the subsequent ColonyDrop seen the prologue, [[spoiler: but is subsequently reestablished by the middle of the series as the New United Nations Earth.]]
** The Federation from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' follows the Gundam pattern of not being especially benevolent to anyone who opposes them. [[spoiler:Also, its decision to cover up a failed Mars colonization attempt rather than rescue the colonists is the reason the war is going on at all]].
* The United Nations in ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', which becomes the more decentralized New United Nations in later ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' shows as human-Zentraedi civilization spreads across the galaxy and incorporates more species into it along the way. They are referred to as the "United Earth Government" in the ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' version of the series.
* With humanity on the brink of extinction, they unite under the United Nations with its own SpaceNavy in ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato''.
* The Time/Space Administration Bureau from ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' might be this, since they're shown acting very much like it. On the other hand, the only leadership we've seen or heard are admirals who do some civilian-leader-like tasks usually handled by elected officials, implying a military dictatorship. And the brains in jars, but they were a shadow government. Its all so vague they might still be this anyway, though, its just hard to tell.
* The Union in ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'', pitted against the evil rebel Deague.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', the [[UnitedEurope European Union]], Middle East Federation (though they only last about two minutes when actually depicted), Chinese Federation and United Federation of Nations are all opposed against the [[TheEmpire Holy Empire of Britannia]].
** In ''Anime/CodeGeassAkitoTheExiled'', it turns out the [[NotSoDifferent European Union is just as corrupt and elitist as Britannia]]. They call the Japanese ''Elevens'' (which itself is a ''Britannian'' term) and are willing to send them into kamikaze strikes, promising their families citizenship if they do so.
* The Free Planets Alliance from ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' is an example of a Federation treated realistically: Its democratic ideals doesn't protect it from tyranny any more than the autocratic ideals of [[TheEmpire the Galactic Empire]] condemns it to tyranny.
* Played with in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''. The first episode of the anime shows a "world meeting" that is an obvious parody of the UN. Considering that the entire episode had the characters arguing and doing nothing, it's more of a subversion... or maybe not enough of a subversion.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Federation in ''Comicbook/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Mirage}}''
* The United Planets in ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}''.
* The Galactic Alliance in ''WanderingStar''.
* The ''Federación de Planetas Federados'' (Federation of Federate Planets), a sort of parody from the Spanish comic-book ''ComicBook/{{Fanhunter}}''.
* The Web [[TheInternet (no relation)]] in ''ComicBook/{{Nexus}}'' is miserably corrupt and often self-destructively stupid, but it's opposed by [[TheEmpire the Sov Empire,]] which is out-and-out evil. Nexus's world of Ylum tries to have as little as possible to do with either of them.
* The Great Universal Alliance in the Mexican comic ''Karmatrón y los Transformables'' is a mix between the Federation and the United Nations.

* Taking after the [[StarWars Galactic Republic]] (which existed many years ago in this fanon), the Trans-Galactic Republic of the ''Star Wars''/''MassEffect'' crossover ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'' starts off looking like the Federation--it somewhat randomly swoops in and saves a galaxy doomed to become [[EldritchAbomination Reaper chow]] but that has some [[NiceJobBreakingItHero consequences]]. In the [[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins sequel]], the Trans-Galactic Republic begins to possibly drift toward TheEmpire thanks to some machinations by its [[StateSec intelligence service]]...
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': In this setting the UN is becoming a world government de facto. Many state-nations and Great Powers are sick with its interference, and a bunch of conflicts military organization HERZ has to deal with are born from that clash.
* In the ''[[Film/StarTrek Star Trek (2009)]]'' fanfic "Fanfic/StarTrekGenesis", the ''Enterprise'' encounters another organization calling itself "First Federation". Subverted in that [[spoiler: they are willing to at least condone genocide in the name of space exploration.]]
* The United Galaxies in the ''Fanfic/GoldenAge'' series is a coalition of at least four separate species (counting the trolls outside the Condesce's controll) that spans several galaxies. It is in direct contrast to the far less benevolent Alternian Empire.

* ''Film/StarWars'' plays with this trope:
** The Galactic Republic. In its last years the Republic was corrupt, which eventually led to the formation of the Galactic Empire. Despite this, the Old Republic was remembered fondly as a beacon of civilization and peace.
** The Confederacy of Independent Systems. An unwieldy alliance of disaffected star systems and greedy corporations, they were in practice far from benevolent, despite the idealism of many individual members.
** Averted with the [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Trade Federation]], which was a federation InNameOnly and was instead a MegaCorp with political influence. It ended up as a founding member of the above-mentioned CIS.
** After defeating the Empire at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance reorganized into the New Republic and implemented numerous reforms to prevent their new government from making the same mistakes the previous Republic did.
* The United Galactic Federation of ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' and ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'', sometimes called the Galactic Alliance.
* The United Citizen's Federation of ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' is more of a PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny and TheEmpire than a Federation, being a highly militaristic and quasi-fascistic state seemingly run by a military hierarchy, complete with a PropagandaMachine. Civil rights are surprisingly good though, and racism and sexism seem to be almost entirely absent. Though the military itself is very poorly run, the general population seems to enjoy a reasonably comfortable standard of living. However, free speech is heavily restricted: anyone speaking against the Federation gets hanged. Ordinary murderers are tried, convicted and put to death within a day-on live television (it's also heavily implied that the "murderer" shown is really a political prisoner). You also only become a full citizen with voting rights after enlisting in the military-otherwise you're considered a "civilian". Surprisingly, conscription seems to be unnecessary since people will enlist to gain full citizenship anyway. In fact, this was part of Creator/RobertAHeinlein's vision, since he ''loathed'' conscription.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'' refers to a United Planets group a few times during radio calls.
* In ''Film/TheSixthWorld'', all nations have come together to launch the Mars mission, including the Navajo nation.
* ''Film/TheLastStarfighter'' has the Star League.

* Creator/EEDocSmith's ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' books basically invented this trope for SF, in the form of Civilization.
* The People's Republic of Haven in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' is a very nasty deconstruction of this trope. Haven starts out as a simple Republic that is referred to as an 'Interstellar Athens' and lived in a perpetual golden age. Then the Havenite government decided to [[WriterOnBoard jack up the welfare programs]], which in turn [[{{Anvilicious}} causes the economy to collapse]]. Instead of cutting the welfare programs, the Republic instead decides to turn conquistador, [[PlanetLooters conquering and looting]] other planets to put money in their treasury. Fast forward a hundred or so years later, Haven rules a vast interstellar empire of over two hundred star systems, and its citizens are divided into the second-class "Dolists" ruled by the first-class "Legislaturalist" hereditary political families. Then, a revolution kicks off, trying to fix the system. Unfortunately the revolution is [[DaysOfFuturePast modeled after the French Revolution]], complete with a leader ''[[StevenUlyssesPerhero named Rob S. Pierre]]''. Saying that it didn't end well would be a kind of an understatement. Of course, now that [[spoiler:the Havenite version of the Thermidorian Reaction has occurred (Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart)]], and with [[spoiler:their version of Napoleon removed ahead of schedule ([[FanNickname Citizen Admiral Clusterbomb]], AKA Esther [=McQueen=])]], things seem to be [[spoiler:on track for the restored Republic of Haven]]. Aside from [[spoiler:the whole resumption of war with Manticore]], of course-until [[spoiler:Victor Cachat and Anton Zilwicki]] turn up in Nouveau Paris with proof positive that [[spoiler:Manticore and Haven had been manipulated into war with each other]] by an [[spoiler:outside third party with plans for galactic domination]]. This severely annoys [[spoiler:President Pritchart]], who [[spoiler:turns up in the Manticore System at midnight]], sits down with [[spoiler:Queen Elizabeth III]], and ends up not only [[spoiler:putting a permanent end to the war]], but [[spoiler:sealing a military ''alliance'' with Manticore]]. The bad guys are ''screwed'' after that, and the Republic of Haven is once and for all firmly on the side of the light.
** And now with the War with the Solarian League, we seem to be heading for a retelling of a combination of the Crimean War (Britain & France allied against the Colossus of Russia) and the American Civil War.
** The Solarian League is an extremely corrupt but non-expansionist version of the Federation, choking under its' own weight and leaving many border worlds to their own devices.
** The newly created Star Empire of Manticore is something of a HegemonicEmpire, with the Talbott Quadrant voting for annexation by Manticore and retaining their own Prime Minister and parliament separate from those of the Old Star Kingdom. Both member nations subject to the Queen of Manticore and sending representatives to the Imperial Parliament.
* The Confederation in Creator/PeterFHamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy, and the Commonwealth in his Literature/CommonwealthSaga.
* Despite its name (and being led by the same handful of nearly-immortal humans for centuries), the Solar Empire of the Literature/PerryRhodan series is a voluntary alliance of Earth and alien worlds with proper civil rights.
** Replaced later by the League of the Free Terrans.
* The ''Literature/ConSentiency'', a federation of truly alien societies.
* The Literature/HumanxCommonwealth, in the SpaceOpera series of the same name by Creator/AlanDeanFoster.
* The trading nations in Karen Miller's ''Literature/GodspeakerTrilogy'' that Rhian has to fight with in order to [[GondorCallsForAid get an army and ships from them]] to stop the [[spoiler:oncoming attack [[ArmiesAreEvil from Mijak]]]].
* Creator/HBeamPiper's Terrohuman Future History features the "Terran Federation".
* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series has the "International Confederation of Wizards", which is only really mentioned as background information. The "Supreme Mugwump" is the head of this organization. It may be more of a FictionalUnitedNations, though-details are scarce.
* Inverted in Terry Brook's ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series, where the faction called The Federation is actually TheEmpire. It did originally start as a traditional Federation between several large isolated cities. It was only later that they decided it would be better for the human race if everyone was under one rule-whether they liked it or not-and every non-Human race was either exterminated or enslaved.
* The Terran Concordiat, from Creator/KeithLaumer's ''Literature/{{Bolo}}'' series.
* The Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne of the ''Literature/{{Retief}}'' tales serve as the Federation. Granted, the CDT is a bunch of self-serving bureaucrats more interested in protocol than actual diplomacy. But they're a benevolent supranational organization willing to help humanity and its allies.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein
** The Terran Federation from ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''. As Rico's teacher describes, "Taxes are lower and individual freedoms are higher than at any point in human history."
** In his ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'' the Federation began as a benign World Government with a monopoly on nuclear weapons to ensure world peace but became an oppressive tyranny.
** ''Literature/TheStarBeast''. The Federation (AKA the Community of Civilizations) is made up of a large number of human and alien civilizations, with the Federation Capital on Earth.
* The Confederacy of Suns in ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series, although it's dissolved after nearly a millennium due to internal strife and inherent inequality in planetary rights: only the Core worlds (those originally forming it) have full rights and fleet protection, while the Periphery has to, mostly, fend for itself. After the dissolution, each world is on its own. After a few decades, though, a previously-unknown alien race conducts a sneak attack on one of the Core colonies, cutting off interstellar communication between worlds. After the aliens are defeated, their slave races become full members of the new Confederacy of Suns. In fact, one of the novels after this deals specifically with the inability of the Confederate fleet to reliably protect all of its worlds and the measures being taken to change that. Instead of a StandardSciFiFleet (which still exists but is relegated to the Core colonies), the Periphery is protected by patroling [[TheBattlestar cruiser-carriers]] with new type of modular hyperdrive-equipped fighters.
** The series also deals heavily with the time periods prior to the formation of the Confederacy, namely the [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression First Galactic War]], in which the [[TheEmpire Earth Alliance]] is attempting to impose its rule on a number of [[LostColony Lost Colonies]], who have banded together. After the thirty-year war, Earth is defeated, and the colonies (which are now industrial and scientific powerhouses) form the Confederacy.
* The Human Empire in Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/LineOfDelirium'' is presented as having elements of this. Despite the name and TheEmperor, the human planets are generally left to their own devices. One planet is mentioned to have a president, implying strong local governments. While there are empire-wide laws, they are usually quite reasonable with some exceptions (such as the "[[FantasticRacism kill all clones and genetically-engineered people]]" one). One colony is mentioned to have been brutally destroyed when it attempted to secede, but then which country is okay with having some of its territory taken away.
* The Starways Congress in the ''Literature/EndersGame'' series appears to be this, until it starts showing how corrupt it really is. Even Han Fei-Tzu, one of their most respected supporters from the planet Path, is eventually forced to admit that the Congress is full of evil men who have done and are prepared to do unspeakable things to hold on to power. Despite this, he has supported them because, in accordance with his religion (based on Daoism), the rulers automatically have the "Mandate of Heaven". Thus, their will is the will of the gods. Even when said will is to send a fleet to forcibly evacuate a colony for refusing to turn over two of its citizens for trial, even if there are plenty of people in the Hundred Worlds who think it's unjust to force people to take a 30-year trip to be tried, as it essentially means punishing them ''before'' there's even a trial. Also, the fleet is armed with a weapon capable of destroying a planet, and the Congress is fully prepared to use it. Any attempts to reveal the truth of the fleet's real mission are declared treasonous. Anyone suspected of writing "seditious" literature is arrested and tortured for information. Hmm, no free speech, cruel and unusual punishment, heavy corruption. That doesn't sound like it's what a Federation should be like.
** There's also the fear the colonies have that sending a fleet to one colony that disagrees with the Congress is setting a precedent for the Congress to use the fleet to quell ''any'' opposition in the Hundred Worlds.
* The Confederation in the ''Literature/ConfederationOfValor'' series.
* The Federacy in the ''Literature/FirebirdTrilogy''.
* The Universal Union in ''Literature/{{Redshirts}}''.
* Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse: The old ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'' continuity had the Old Republic, the New Republic, and the '''G'''alactic '''F'''ederation of '''F'''ree '''A'''lliances (Galactic Alliance for short). The current continuity re-canonized both the Old and New Republics, but not the GFFA (yet).
* The Terran Confederation of States in the ''Literature/StarCarrier'' novels is a pretty good example of a federation in the technical sense. Earth's nation-states are still around in various forms, but they all contribute representatives to a world government that grew into the Confederation, and contribute ships and soldiers to the Confederate military. The Confederation Senate is a parliamentary system with no political parties.
** This seems to be changing in ''Deep Space'', with the Confederation insisting on more and more direct control, especially over member states' [[SpaceNavy Space Navies]]. This comes to a head when the Confederation [[spoiler:attempts to seize an advanced AI belonging to the [[ExpandedStatesOfAmerica United States of North America]] as a "strategic asset" and use illegal weapons in their conflict with the USNA, including a GreyGoo missile to destroy the USNA capital]]. This causes several other member states to secede and ally with the USNA.
* Subverted in Dani and Eytan Kollin's ''Unincorporated'' series with the United Human Federation which starts out democratic but evolves into the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. Played straight with the Outer Alliance. [[spoiler: it's left ambiguous at the end as to whether the Alliance remains together after leaving the Solar System or breaks up as it's constituents scatter among the stars]]
* The Culture from Iain M. Banks's [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novels is a socialist/libertarian/anarchist variant.
* The United Worlds of Earth in the ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' books fits this trope exactly, being a benign, liberal union of around twelve hundred Earth colonies and non-Earth civilizations. Moreover, it counterpoints the ancient rulebound Taysan Empire and the scary totalitarian Darian Republic.
* The Confederacy, from t the ''Literature/HostileTakeoverSwann'' series, is centered on Earth and claims jurisdiction over 76 human worlds and seven inhabited by [[DesignerBabies frankensteins]] and [[PettingZooPeople Moreaus]]. The Confederacy is divided into five Arms, and each planet is largely self-governing. The Confederacy mainly serves to maintain stability, by forbidding war (be it revolution or invasion) and [[NoTranshumanismAllowed heretical technologies]]. The Terran Executive Command comes down on violators like a ton of bricks, or rather like [[ColonyDrop several tons of ceramic filament dropped from orbit.]]
* The Terran Empire in ''Literature/TechnicHistory''. Despite it's name, it is on the whole a "good" state. It is not faultless: in the first part it is prone to [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression forceful expansionism]], and in the latter era it is riddled with sloth and incompetence. But it [[WhatTheRomansHaveDoneForUs brings civilization]] and it is generally better that it exist then not exist.
* In the ''Literature/ToRidePegasus'' trilogy, the United World develops as a OneWorldOrder through a layer of international agreements and institutions. There's a World President, a [[SpaceIsAnOcean space navy]], and a global Law Enforcement and Order commissioner, but individual countries and nationalities still exist; the application of pre-''glasnost'' [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp Soviet-era Russian laws]] to American citizens becomes a plot point in ''Pegasus in Flight'', as does the DiplomaticImpunity of a Malaysian prince involved in a child sex-slavery ring. By the ''Literature/TowerAndTheHive'' series, the United World has evolved into the Star League, composed of Earth and her daughter colonies.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The United Federation of Planets in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' is the TropeCodifier. A fairly accurate example of an ''actual'' Federation, too. While they have a strong Starfleet which combines SpaceNavy and SpacePolice functions, they seem to let member worlds largely manage their own affairs and avoid military opposition to secession. Federation technology has the potential to advance far faster than any other interstellar nation, because it amalgamates the scientific corpus of all its member races.
** The Federation grants all members the right of secession; the Maquis plotline involves Federation colonists in the Demilitarized Zone between Federation and Cardassian space, many of whom had their planets change hands as part of a peace treaty. These colonists included a group of descendants of American Indians who were in the process of being physically removed from the surrendered planets by the Federation in one episode. Military intervention was immediately canceled, however, when said group renounced their Federation citizenship, and agreed to live peacefully alongside Cardassian colonists. It didn't end well in the [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine sequel series]].
* From ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** The Earth Alliance devolves into a [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Space Nazi]] [[TheEmpire Empire]] under President Clark, complete with the Martian-independence subtrope. It improves after a brief civil war.
** The Interstellar Alliance is still new, so it's not as powerful as the one in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. However, it could easily become that and all indicators are that it will. Even has its own fighting force in the form of the [[BadassArmy Anla'Shok aka the Rangers]].
** Before the existence of the Interstellar Alliance, there was already the Minbari Federation, which is probably true to its name as Minbari society is divided among three self-governing castes of Warrior, Religious and Workers minding their own business separated apart from the basic interaction needed for the greater good of their civilization. Worth noticing that the Minbari were not only founder members of the IA but also hold the headquarters, thus probably they had a lot of influence in their structure.
* United Earth Oceans (UEO) in ''Series/SeaQuestDSV.''
** After a TimeSkip to 10 years later, UEO has considerably weakened, especially after the disappearance of its titular flagship (the only submarine of its kind). In that time, a new power (of TheEmpire kind) has been steadily gaining power, eventually forming the Macronesian Alliance (formerly New Australia), whose aggressive policies (such as annexing nearby territories without a formal declaration) remain mostly unchecked by the weakened UEO.
* The Galactic Federation in ''Series/BlakesSeven'' is very corrupt and oppressive. It was conceived as an Alliance but became an Empire. The main villain of the series, Servalan, plans to capture the Liberator so that she can create a fleet with which to take over the Federation and [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans restore it to]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist its former glory]].
* The Peacekeepers from ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' should, however, be considered a subversion. They were no less [[TheEmpire an empire]] than their enemies, the Scarrans, but they were clean and well dressed (and prettier). They were also [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Space Nazis]]. The Peacekeepers essentially run more of an hegemony/Interstellar protection racket, whereas the Scarrans are more of the conquer-and-enslave types. Ironically, the Peacekeepers' xenophobia and obsession with racial purity is probably a factor in keeping them from more directly conquering their satellite states and neighbors because that might lead to fraternization.
* The Systems Commonwealth in ''Series/{{Andromeda}}.'' It was originally the Vedran Empire prior to reforms. Somehow, humans have become the dominant race in the Commonwealth, despite being one of many races in it (and Vedrans mostly being in charge).
* The Earth Empire, the Galactic Federation, and the later Human Empires in ''Series/DoctorWho'', despite the "empire" names, fit this trope (although, because of the multi-millennial time scales involved, how well they fit varies). In most cases, planets are controlled by local governments or corporations, while the central government is benevolent but so distant as to be useless outside of a small sphere (it does come from the former British ''Empire'', after all...).
* The Anglo-Sino Alliance in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is an malevolent version (though the main POV characters were part of a group that ''lost'' to the Alliance ... still, we see some things with our own eyes that would justify a response of "pragmatic and ruthless" at best).
* The Twelve Colonies of Kobol in ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. Depicted as being rather weaker than most Federations, as its member Colonies are permitted to be as tyrannical (read: Saggitaron) or fanatical (read: Gemenon) as they please.
** This is likely because the Twelve Colonies united are said to be just over 50 years old, 40 years after the end of the decade long Cylon War. It is quite likely they only came together to face the threat posed by the Cylons, and mention is made of various colonies being dominated for centuries by some of the others in the series. The first episode of the Prequel series, Caprica, seems to confirm this. As a result, the only truly powerful Colonies-wide organization is the Colonial Military, resulting in the occasionally dark undertones as to the influence it had on government and harsh reactions of previous Presidents to civil strife.
* In the original version of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'', the Twelve Colonies had been united for thousands of yahrens, and the ongoing war with the Cylons had lasted for 1000 years or so when Baltar's betrayal and the naivete of the ruling council led to their defeat. The original federal union of the 12 worlds was governed by a Quorum of the Twelve, and apparently each member of that council represented a tribe, rather than a world, it just so happened that each tribe had its own world. It would probably be easier to maintain the independent nature of the members of a federation if each one had its own separate world.
* A Federation of sorts forms in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' comprised of the various societies the Atlantis expedition had visited in their travels. They immediately turn on Atlantis, blaming them (rightfully so to a degree) for the galaxy's current problems. The comparison to ''Star Trek's'' Federation is naturally brought up, to which Rodney dismissively replies that the Federation had ''ships''.
** One must point out however that most of the problems that the Atlantis expedition were blamed for were caused by the Ancients, not them. Sheppard went so far as to point this fact out, further stating that he and his team where just trying to clean up the mess that the Ancients blatantly refuse to take responsibility for. The judge does in fact agree with him, but quickly points out that the new Federation has no power over the Ancients, so Sheppard and his team will have to take the fall.
* The Migar Alliance from ''Series/{{Tracker}}''. Mostly good but every planet has its criminal element.
* The Shadow Proclamation from ''Series/{{Doctor Who}}''. They are rarely seen on screen, but their laws are often enforced by the Doctor.
* ''Series/TheOrville'' has the Planetary Union, which seems to be a more comedic version of the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' Federation.

* The Solar Federation in Music/{{Rush}}'s ''2112'' is a [[StrawCharacter strawman communist state.]]
* Sarah Brightman lost her heart to a starship trooper who was "fighting for the Federation".

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* The Galactic Federation of Light is an allegedly real life federal group of planets according to some New Age and UFO religions.
* Also the evil Galactic Confederacy rule by Xenu in Scientology.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' plays with this:
** The Tau Empire, a small but RisingEmpire in the galactic east, is run by the only guys in the setting who know the definition of the word diplomacy, let their allies keep their own militaries, and treat the inhabitants of annexed territory fairly well. They're also perfectly willing to use force when asking someone nicely to join the empire fails, keep client states' armies small so they're reliant on Tau support or use their vassals' forces as auxiliaries, and maintain the setting's most centralized government, divided into a caste system rumored to be mind-controlled by the ruling Ethereal class. So depending on how cynical an observer is, the Tau can be seen as either TheRepublic of ''40k'', a proper Federation, or an Empire with good publicity.
** The Imperium, despite being very much TheEmpire of the setting, paradoxically operates as The Federation [[DystopiaIsHard out of pragmatism]]. So long as component worlds pay their tithes of resources and manpower, enforce an acceptable mutation of the Imperial Cult, and hand over any psykers to the [[MutantDraftBoard Black Ships]], the [[VastBureaucracy Administratum]] lets a planet's governor run their world as they see fit. So if you live close to Terra you'll probably be in an Orwellian nightmare, while if you live in the distant realm of Ultramar it will probably seem more like The Federation. Throw in semi-autonomous factions such as SpaceMarine chapter fiefdoms and the loose empire-within-an-empire of the [[MachineWorship Adeptus Mechanicus]] and you've got a complicated political situation.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': Despite the name, this is a more fitting description of the Empire, due to the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Elector-Counts and the smaller regions that they control. Being a FantasyCounterpartCulture of the Holy Roman Empire, it works in much the same way: it consists of a number of semi-autonomous regions each headed by an Elector-Count who swears loyalty to the current Emperor, who they vote into position - each Elector-Count has one vote, the Church of Sigmar has three (one for the Grand Theogenist and one for each Arch-Lector), one for the leader of the Church of Ulric and one for the Elder of the Moot. The Emperor has little to no say in the day-to-day runnings of each province and the populations include halflings, dwarfs and even some elves who live (mostly) comfortably among the human majority.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'''s Third Imperium is often described as a "feudal confederation". Due to the sheer size of the interstellar empire most planets are left to govern themselves as long as they pay taxes to fund the noble-run Imperial Bureaucracy and military and obey the "no nukes, no interfering with interstellar trade" laws.
** The Terran Confederation in the Intersteller Wars volume of ''Traveller'' is a strange example. Though the sympathies lie with them, they are an ambitious, expansionist and conquering state. However, on the other hand, once they do conquer places they tend to treat them well.
*** It is not clear whether the Vilani or the Terrans are most to be blamed for the ISW's and a mild tweaking could give the Terrans more palatable justification if it suits the GM. The first Terran expansion was in trade, settling uninhabited colonies, and contact with Vilani dissidents even in canon and conquest came later when the Terrans found [[HumansAreWarriors how tough they were]]. But in any case the Terran Confederation is clearly The Federation rather then TheEmpire despite it's aggressive foreign policy.
* The Federated Commonwealth in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech''. Meanwhile, the Free Worlds League, while not fitting the "good guys" vibe of the trope, is more of an ''actual'' federation, with many nigh-independent worlds and regions, and the loosest central government of the major powers.
** The original Star League also counts; the major members were all left to their own affairs while still being subordinate to the Terran Hegemony. It was more like TheEmpire to the Periphery though.
* The New Earth Government in ''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech'' (formed from the New United Nations during an [[HumanAlien "alien"]] genocide) might qualify, for all that it's a PoliceState in a [[CosmicHorrorStory Lovecraftian universe]] which operates a borderline [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Ministry Of Love]] to prevent {{EldritchAbomination}}s from [[MindRape controlling you]] in an attempt to destroy/convert/use as breeding fodder/transform humanity. The Cthulhutech world is not a happy place.
* The Seven Kingdoms in ''TabletopGame/{{Talislanta}}'' fit this trope perfectly, the moreso in that each of the seven is populated by a (very!) different race. Not all aliens have to be from outer space.
* ''TabletopGame/{{RIFTS}}'' brings us a subversion in the Federation of Magic, North America's largest gathering of magic-user communities, and the oldest enemy of the Coalition States. Subverted in that the Federation isn't generally better than the CS, nor is it really very unified at all. The head of the so-called "True" Federation, Alistair Dunscon, is an insane, power-mad EvilSorcerer driven by a personal vendetta against the Coalition, but not everyone in the Federation supports him or even acknowledges him as their leader. The other major factions in the divided Federation either wish to be left alone and don't seek conflict (Dweomer), or are actually just in it for convenience's sake while they pursue their own agendas (Stormspire).
** The Phase World/Three Galaxies setting has a straight example in the Consortium of Civilized Worlds. Complete with a SpaceColdWar against the [[TheEmpire Transgalactic Empire]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' has the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon Federation]], a LostColony of Earth which uses {{ISO Standard Human Spaceship}}s, and is one of the neutral/good powers among the game's empires.
** The Boron are The Federation, despite technically being a kingdom. They qualify as The Federation on basis of being a neutral/good power, and having a democratically elected leadership (the queen is a figurehead).
** The Terrans may qualify, but they might also be a subversion. They're democratic according to WordOfGod, but they have strong xenophobic and paranoid tendencies.
** ''X3: Albion Prelude'' puts the lie to the Argon being good guys when they blow up the Torus Aeternal, a massive space station ringing Earth's equator. They then invade Terran space with a fleet of artificially intelligent warships. The ''[[AllThereInTheManual X-Encyclopedia]]'' explains it in such a way as to have it make a modicum of military sense, but it's still a case of GreyAndGrayMorality.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'''s Earth Federation, as seen in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'':
** The New California Republic (NCR) in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' and ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is a neutral example of a Federation. On one hand they are the only major faction in the entire post-Great War America that has improved the living standards of common people, by rebuilding infrastructure such as railroads, establishing trade routes, and reorganizing the code of law. But they're also selfish and corrupt, bound by red tape, and a semi-police state that is willing to use all kind of dirty tricks to coerce other settlements to join them. Since the only other choices are random anarchic thugs or myopic self-entitled elitist/racist/fascist groups, the NCR's about as good as any functional post-nuclear war government gets. Aside from [[VideoGame/{{Fallout3}} Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel]] or an [[ICanRuleAlone independent wasteland]], depending on one's preferences.
** ''Fallout: New Vegas'' goes out of its way to try and paint the NCR as just as bad as the other two factions, respectively a one-man dictatorship enforced by an army of robots and a band of barbarous, misogynist, pseudo-Roman slavers. This is due to [[WordOfGod Chris Avellone]]'s belief that the progress made by the NCR has undermined the post-apocalyptic feel of the series, to the extent that he added a "nuke NCR" option in the ''Lonesome Road'' DLC. [[http://twitter.com/#!/ChrisAvellone/status/117371054938263552 He's said on his twitter account]] that if another ''Fallout'' comes to him, he's nuking the NCR for a clean slate in the region.
** The Commonwealth Minutemen in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' can potentially form the framework for an organisation similar to the NCR in the early years, uniting several settlements and offering mutual protection in exchange for supplies. Unlike the NCR, this depiction is entirely sympathetic, and the Minutemen are strong candidates for the most ethical faction in the post-apocalyptic United States. There was also the Commonwealth Provisional Government, which was an attempt to form this [[spoiler:before the Institute came along and ruined it.]]
* The Terran factions in ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' usually fit this to one degree or another, although in ''[=StarCraft=]'' it is a Confederation, which is not nearly so well-intentioned. This is even worse of a misuse then the term 'Federation' tends to be, as a confederation is supposed to have even looser central government, one that wouldn't have the authority to try to retain a region that wanted to leave. It's later succeeded by the Terran Dominion, which to all intents and purposes is effectively an [[TheEmpire autocracy]] and much more overt in both name and intentions.
* The UCN (United Colonial Nations) in the ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}'' series essentially act as the United Nations. It presides over all the Earth-held colonies in space with Earth itself as its capital.
** Also, the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance), the main protagonists of Killzone, act as the UCN's "NATO" forces. Every UCN colony is allowed to have its own ISA military to defend itself in times of war, but they are all under (indirect) control of the UCN.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/StarControlII'', where the player character is asked to name the new good-guy faction. One of the options is the United Federation of Worlds. Another is "TheEmpire of [Your Name]".
* The Earth Federation (later Pangalactic Federation) in ''VideoGame/StarOcean''; since SO is significantly based on ''Franchise/StarTrek'', this is quite similar to the UFP above. Can also be a subtle subversion as well, considering some of the fluff that is provided in the background data that can be unlocked in Star Ocean III.
* The Galaxy Federation in ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'':
** The Global Defense Initiative (GDI) in the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries''. In the first game GDI was simply a multinational military force under the command of the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations, but as the timeline and the [[HostileTerraforming Tiberium infestation]] progressed, its component states atrophied until the UN/GDI was [[UnitedNationsIsASuperpower the only effective political/military force left]], making it a sort of traditional-style Federation.
** Also the United States in the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'' series, which takes the place of the game series' traditional "good guy" faction compared to the People's Republic of China (who are America's ally, however) and the terroristic militia of the Global Liberation Army.
* The Federation in ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}'', ''Frontier: Elite II'', ''Frontier: First Encounters'', and ''VideoGame/EliteDangerous''. Only marginally nicer than The Empire, but still a straightforward example of the trope.
* Although mentioned as early as [[OlderThanTheyThink the first game's]] [[AllThereInTheManual manual]], ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'''s Galactic Federation rarely got more than a passing mention until ''Fusion''. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3'', it's presented as a fairly typical good-guy federation. The ''VideoGame/MetroidFusion'' interpretation of it is starting to subvert this trope, as their goals are becoming more ruthless and self-serving. Samus could also be seen as an enemy of this more sinister Federation following her actions in ''Fusion'' as well.
* ''VideoGame/{{FZero}}'s'' Galactic Space Federation is also one of the many, many similarities between the respective settings of this series and that of ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}.''
* The Union in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', fighting TheEmpire.
* The Terran Confederation from the ''Videogame/WingCommander'' series, despite having the word 'Confederation' in the title.
** ''Wing Commander IV'' also introduces the Union of Border Worlds, which is much more of a Confederation mixed with TheAlliance.
* The Lycian League in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'' and its prequel ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade The Blazing Blade]]'' are a group of small territories, each ruled by a marquess. In ''The Binding Blade'' they fight TheEmpire, but in ''The Blazing Blade'' [[DeconstructedTrope they mostly squabble amongst themselves]]. Hector's home province of Ostia is the largest, making his brother Uther [[LateArrivalSpoiler (and later, Hector himself)]] the closest thing the League has to an overall leader. Some endings of ''Binding Blade'' have the main character Roy picking up where Hector left off, unifying the territories into a single kingdom (especially if he marries Hector's daughter Lilina).
* The Peacekeeping Forces faction in ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri''. The [[TheSpartanWay Spartan Federation]] also qualifies if Democratic social engineering is used, but is much different from the Peacekeepers (being a far more militaristic and paranoid state). The Data Angels from the expansion, being essentially anarchists, also favour democratic governments.
* The Citadel Council in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' sits somewhere between The Federation and TheAlliance. The council acts mostly like the United Nations Security Council, consisting of the Asari Republic, the Turian Hierarchy, the Salarian Union, and the human Systems Alliance, while the other races have observer status. While each member "country" governs itself, there are common policies regarding international trade, arms treaties, and fundamental legal rights of individuals. Citadel Space appears to cover about 60 to 80 percent of the known galaxy with independent colonies being clustered in the Terminus Systems.
** Most of the human species is governed by the Systems Alliance, which is the only recognized representative of humans in Citadel Space, and which appears to be very close to present federations on Earth. Planets mostly govern themselves, but for example the military and all diplomatic relations with other species falls under federal responsibility.
* ''VideoGame/EVEOnline's'' Gallente Federation.
* The Atlantic Federation of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''. From the protagonists' point of view, however, they're only better than TheEmpire because they're not currently busy invading Gallia -- they're certainly not offering to help. [[ItsUpToYou Then again, nobody in the game except the protagonists do that much anyway]].
** Considering that they are ALSO fighting an Imperial invasion of their frontier that is stated to be militarily superior to them and probabl vastly dwarfs the forces the Empire committed to the Gallian campaign, this is probably justified.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'' features a Federation. They're definitely not portrayed the good guys, and they seem to act like more of an Empire than a Federation. They even have their own Rebellion opposing them. The Auroran Empire is a sort of confederation, being a bunch of independent, warring houses that pass around the leadership baton.
** It's something of an inversion - the Federation is corrupt, and the Empire is honor-driven to a fault. In most of the endings, the player TakesAThirdOption and winds up with a stable society after uniting them.
** If one reads the preambles, and pays attention to what you're told in the storylines, it seems the Federation ''was'' a Federation [[spoiler:at least, for humans, not TelepathicSpacemen]], although one more corrupt and with dirtier secrets than the common example. [[spoiler:Then came the [[StateSec Bureau]]...]]. Meanwhile, ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Override'' has the United Earth, who is either TheAlliance, The Federation, or TheEmpire, depending mainly upon where you draw the line between Alliance and Federation (for instance the UE does not have a common currency (yet; this is revealed by a news story mentioning the establishment of one as an ongoing and progressing matter of negotiation and preparation), but it does have a common foreign policy and Navy), your perspective on the UE's treatment of her colony worlds (note that the vast majority of humans still live on Earth), and how deeply you are affected by/fear the [[TheEmpire Voinian Empire]].
* The Alliance in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is a fantasy example of this trope. Although it would at first glance appear to be TheAlliance, the only portion of the Alliance that ''doesn't'' fit this trope right down to the letter is its lack of centralized leadership, which appears to be changing with the return of Varian Wrynn centralizing power around the humans of Stormwind. The Alliance's counterpart, the Horde, resembles a (mostly) good version of TheEmpire due to its centralized leadership, the Warchief commands the entire Horde, and its thirst for conquest.
* The humans in ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion II'' has democracy as their default form of government. Their "Advanced government type" turns them into The Federation. Oh, and the picture of the human leader is a bald man, just in case you missed the message.
* Much like TheEmpire, the MMORPG ''{{VideoGame/Pardus}}'' plays this trope pretty straight. Mostly humans? Check. Somewhat corrupt? Check. 20 Minutes Into the Future ships? Oh yes. What makes this interesting, though, is that the Federation is comprised completely of players(along with the other 2 factions, the Empire and the Union).
* The United Nations Space Command (and the Unified Earth Government it technically serves) from ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' began life as a textbook example of this, but the Insurrection and the Covenant invasion have combined to turn it into much more more of a military junta; even though authority was officially ceded back to civilian authorities after the end of the Covenant war, the military in practice still holds most of the power.
* The Alliance in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' is a borderline case between TheAlliance and this trope, going more towards The Federation just due to the length of time it and TheEmpire have been at a state of running hot- and cold-wars. [[spoiler:Six hundred years, to be precise, with at least four de facto World Wars and armistices...and the wars have lately involved the use of [[NukeEm nuke expys]] by the Alliance. And you thought the Hundred Years War was bad...]]
* The United Earth Federation (UEF) in ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' is a subversion: despite the name, it's TheEmpire and a military dictatorship to boot. The Cybran Nation is a better example as a loosely unified band of culturally different "nodes" that share technology and allegiance to Doctor Brackman, the father of the Cybrans, and generally only act in unison when presented with an external threat (such as the UEF above, or the ChurchMilitant Aeon).
* ''VideoGame/ThePrecursors'' has the Democratic Union, one of the possible factions the player can work for. It's a very gray organization, which is actively colonizing a planet during the events of the game and fighting the alien natives. (However, the government of said natives isn't made of saints either, and there are groups of natives willing to work with the Democratic Union against them)
* The United Federation in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'', an human federation styled after the United States, with a president and all. Its armed forces is named G.U.N. and it primary mission is to fight back the Eggman Empire and other enemies to the federation, such as [[EldritchAbomination Chaos]] and the [[AlienInvaders Black Arms]]. Once in conflict with Team Sonic, they're now (mostly) allies to the main characters. The United Federation also appears in the Archie Comic version, now as an ally to the Republic of Acorn and an active player in the Second Robotnik War. They were also the ones who nuked Eggman Empire's former capital city the Old Robotropolis.
** Originally, in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' and ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' the United Federation seemed to be a OneWorldOrder (whether it's benevolent or not is never explained; the president at least seems to be a ReasonableAuthorityFigure). Since ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' it seems more likely that the U.F. is just one of many nations, the FantasyCounterpartCulture for the UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates, which probably makes it more akin to TheRepublic.
* The nation of Malorigan in ''VisualNovel/EienNoAselia'' seems to fill this role. They actually seem to be at least as decent as Rakios, but due to events going on end up your enemy anyway.
* By ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter'' the Morrigi are officially head of a federation comprising the other races. While players could incorporate the other races in the first game into their empires through research, the sequel will build on this with NPC FTL-incapable races to assimilate peacefully.
* ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations'': the Terran Alliance has traits of this, and forming one from everyone present is a win condition. Something similar can also happen in larger games when the weaker or more violent races have been wiped out and all the computer players decide to GangUpOnTheHuman.
* ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'' has [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Federation]], a galactic alliance comprised of different races of aliens, humans included. Unfortunately, the Rebels wish to [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized crush the Federation]] and [[FantasticRacism all non-human entities]].
* ''Videogame/GratuitousSpaceBattles'', as any game about space battles worth its salt should, has a federation among its many races, complete with their ships being visual throwbacks to the TropeCodifier. Backstory makes them differ a ''lot'' from the others, however, being a corporate conglomerate whose ships are actually {{Evil Debt Collector}}s who are paid by the kill, charged by the bullet, and rewarded with rising market stocks.
* ''VideoGame/TheLastFederation'' has this as the players ultimate goal, to unite species into a single federation (and wipe out anyone who doesn't join...)
* In the ''[[VideoGame/CrusaderKings Crusader Kings II]]'' mod ''VideoGame/CrisisOfTheConfederation'', the Terran Confederation is a loose federation that governs all of Terran space. At the beginning of the game, the Confederation's outer rim breaks away and forms several new states, many of which also fit this trope, though others fit a wide variety of governmental forms. Furthermore, the very idea of democracy is starting to lose its legitimacy within the Confederation, and many groups are starting to agitate for military rule instead.
* The Southern Hegemony in ''VideoGame/NeuroshimaHex'' consists of a group of factions that have banded together in pursuit of common goals and ideals in the post-apocalyptic United States. Unfortunately for everyone else involved, the factions in question are raider gangs whose common goals and ideals consist of RapePillageAndBurn with a hefty dose of TheSpartanWay. One of the rare examples of a villainous Federation.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' a group of independent nations[[note]]in an earlier version an upgrade of TheAlliance[[/note]] can form a Federation with a presidency that rotates between the members and an independent space navy with access to the best technologies of all the member nations. It's also possible for an interstellar nation to call itself a federation, and depending on their ethos incorporate citizens of several species, adopt democratic governments, or vassalize other nations. Or recreate the Terran Federation of ''Starship Troopers.''
** [[BlatantLies You could also just call]] [[TheEmpire your oligarchic or despotic empire]] [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny a democratic federation]], [[TheEmperor and your emperor]] [[JustTheFirstCitizen the first citizen]].
* ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire'' The human faction, called Trader's Emergency Coalition (TEC for short), is this. It is described as a group made up of hundreds of human worlds with a unified military and civilian government, but each world maintains its own culture, government type, and social policies within the general guidelines of the Trade Order. In-game, each world also donates a portion of its taxable wealth to the overall federation, with more money being allocated from planets with larger populations. The larger the fleet becomes, the more the worlds are taxed. Starting with 6% and eventually reaching 75% to support the massive, unified fleet that defends them.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'' has the Samaar Federation mentioned by several alien characters, which apparently rules over a radius of 6 ''million'' light years (as Lin points out, that encompasses multiple galaxies). The Ganglion, the main bad guys (who, it should be noted, possess an army capable of laying waste to entire planets and have enslaved multiple different species), are described as a "run-of-the-mill crime syndicate" that's just one tiny part of Samaar as a whole. In any case, given that Earth was annihilated as a ''side effect'' of a battle between Samaar and some other unknown alien civilization, humanity is not eager to apply for membership in it.
* The United Nations Space Alliance from ''VideoGame/CallofDutyInfiniteWarfare'' functions similar to ''Halo''[='s=] UNSC (allying the nations of the world into a collective body to administrate and coordinate all off-world activities).
* The Solar Alliance from ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' is a federation of one hundred planets and has been the galaxy’s dominant superpower for a hundred years. Like the various Gundam Federations, the Alliance is portrayed as flawed. It is mired in political deadlock and bureaucracy due to its great size. Its politicians are initially unwilling to go to war with [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny PACT]] despite the threat it poses to the galaxy, while its military leaders like Admiral Grey are willing to do whatever it takes to both ''start'' the war on their own terms and win it. While Kayto Shields knows that he needs the Alliance’s military might to drive PACT out of the Neutral Rim and liberate his home planet Cera, he’s wary of their intentions. Despite all this, the Alliance does provide relief efforts to impoverished Neutral Rim planets like [[WretchedHive Ongess]] and it respects other planets’ refusal to join its ranks, unlike PACT (which forces planets to join by nuking their cities from orbit).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GalacticMaximum'', [[http://maximumcomic.com/?strip_id=6 the federation is all alien, until the human colonists manage to contact it.]]
* The Nemesite Empire in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' appears to be like this--highly flawed, but still generally pretty decent. Although a monarchy, it is stated to have a parliament of representatives from its subject worlds. Princess Voltuptua seems to try harder than most of the royal family to do right by her subjects.
* The United Nations of Sol in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', as a semi-villainous version; it's heavily factionalised, and [[spoiler: has an extremely untrustworthy longevity project going on in secret; knowledge of this project outside those cleared for it is ruthlessly suppressed]].
** There's also the League of Galactics, a form of UN InSpace. Only mentioned in passing at one point, it is described as having "about as much effect on key galactic events as central Asian rainfall has on the mean high tide in the Gulf of Mexico. Brandishing [[StronglyWordedLetter a reprimand from the League of Galactics is only marginally worse than threatening to cut off one's access to the Ron Popeil Shopping Channel]]."

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/NatOneProductions'' has a SpaceOpera story-line called ''Denazra'' where quite a few different species, including humanity, act like they're this trope. They don't generally live up to it, though.
* British Space in the Space Arc of ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace''. Despite being a monarchy, very close to being a proper federation: Arthur likes his petty kings and subject lords to have relative autonomy, because it means less work.
* ''Literature/AssociatedSpace'' features the Terran Associated States, a fairly loose federation of petty human star empires, republics, and every other form of government that's ever been tried.
* The U.E.A. of ''Literature/RegistryOfTime''.
* ''TabletopGame/TechInfantry'' has the Earth Federation, which at various times both plays this trope straight and subverts it by being oppressive and evil.
* ''Literature/DecadesOfDarkness'' has the Russian Empire/Federation, the German Empire and the British Empire.
* ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' has the Axifloan Coalition, a ''very'' shaky confederation whose members were hated enemies no more than 170 years before the present time, stopping only because they realized fighting was stupid. Interestingly enough, its most powerful member states include two rival [[TheEmpire empires]], a VestigialEmpire, and a small but ''extremely'' powerful City-State. As of v5, three of these states have declared war on one another and seceded from the Coalition, leaving it a shell of its former self.
* Two of the more powerful slider factions in ''[[http://sosshinsei.proboards.com/index.cgi Suzumiya Haruhi no Yaku-Asobi]]'' are the Crossway and Odinean Federations. The former is closer to Literature/TheRepublic (reformed from TheEmpire), however.
* The Galactic Republic in ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'', natch, until it was ripped apart by the Imperial Remnant and deteriorated into the Rebellion, leaving the Galactic Empire to take its place.
* A good number of them had propped up after UsefulNotes/WorldWarIII in ''Literature/NineteenEightyThreeDoomsday,'' among the more notable and relatively benevolent ones being the ANZ Commonwealth, Alpine Confederation and Nordic Union.
* ''Literature/TheFalconCannotHear'': After the Second American CivilWar ends with TheAlliance of democratic factions defeating the communists and fascists, they forge a new federal government. Due to the large variety of political ideals held by the disparate factions, this "Third Republic" is even more of an example of this trope than the United States was beforehand. In addition to the old states (many of which are run under different kinds of governments than pre-war), there's also the "constituent republics" -- Deseret (Utah) and New Africa (Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi united under the control of militant blacks) -- which report to the federal government, but are much more autonomous than the states. Likewise, there's also the "federal cities" of New York and Guantanamo Bay (where a flourishing city was founded by an American exile community that acted neutrally during most of the war), which have the same status as the republics.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'' franchise:
** This is sort of the case with the Earth Kingdom, a vast confederate monarchy in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' that opposes the expansionist Fire Nation.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', after going through ''a lot'' of turmoil, the Earth Kingdom [[spoiler:becomes a straight example after the newly crowned Wu decides to permanently abolish the monarchy in favor of a more democratic government, but it's implied it will still be called the Earth Kingdom]].
* The Homeworlds from ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad''.
* The Democratic Organization of Planets ([[FunWithAcronyms DOOP]]) in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''.
* The Galactic Guardians in ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Pinewood Derby," events resulting from Randy Marsh [[ItMakesSenseInContext accidentally discovering light speed space travel after cheating at a pinewood derby race with his son]] later leads to the Earth governments stealing a space pirate's stolen [[FictionalCurrency Galactic Currency]] to selfishly use it to rebuild the world economy results in [[spoiler: Earth being banned from joining a galactic community of planets and thereby forcibly locked away from the rest of the universe.]] Randy's only reaction to all this at the end is a very lax [[{{Understatement}} "Well that sucks."]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' has the Galactic Alliance, constantly threatened by the BigBad Zurg.
* The first ''WesternAnimation/{{Babar}}'' animated series has the Jungle Federation with all the different animal kingdoms as members.
* The League of Planets from ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers'' is this, but unlike many examples, this one isn't headquartered on Earth, but rather on the planet Kerwin, who, as mentioned in the OpeningNarration, sends "two peaceful ambassadors" to Earth seeking their help. Earth then becomes a member after Waldo, one of the ambassadors, gives Earth the plans for its first [[FasterThanLightTravel hyperdrive]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' has the Galactic Federation. They're a bunch of bureaucrats. Rick doesn't respect them.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates, as per UsefulNotes/AmericanFederalism. Even some of UsefulNotes/TheSeveralStates themselves could be considered such, although most are some form of unitary state (and some a lot more unitary than others). The degree of autonomy the states get is especially interesting to many foreigners.
* India. Historically, many of its component territories were independent kingdoms for over a thousand years before the coming of the East India Company. Even now the highest administrative authority in the country, the Prime Minister, has less power than most world heads of government.
* The European Union is, suffice to say, a complex case, even disregarding accusations of would-be or even actual [[TheEmpire Empire]], but it does have clear ''tendencies'' towards this. And a few agreements and founders vaguely hinting at or suggesting this as a future goal (again, one's mileage may vary whether this is something that actually will happen, or whether the end-result would actually be The Federation).
** Right now the EU is a confederation that tries as it might to become somewhat closer. The Federation ''is'' on the other end of this scale, but whether the European Union would finally move there is an open question.
** A detailed study reveals that the European Union is a "sui generis" organisation that is impossible to classify into an existing category. It lacks some elements that exist even in the loosest of Confederations (no real common diplomacy or army, no obvious Head of State), but also has many elements of a Federation (mainly the fact that the law of the Union is superior to the law of the States (Federal law trumps the States law)) and even some elements of a heavily centralized unitary State (detailed and extremely specific economic regulations relentlessly enforced by the Commission and the Court). The fact that it does not correspond to anything else that existed or exist in the world and is sometimes nearly incomprehensible is one of the reasons it is becoming increasingly unpopular among some Europeans.
** The closest historical equivalent might be the United States under the Articles of Confederation, which eventually resulted in the US becoming a federation. Since Europe doesn't have a war of independence to fight, there isn't really any incentive for sudden centralisation.
* The UN wants to be this. Or some people want it to be this. Or some people are afraid of it becoming this whether it wants to or not. Nowhere close, though.
* Switzerland. The country's individual cantons are very autonomous, and historically were semi-autonomous subdivisions of the Holy Roman Empire.
* Before we move on to the various federations of UsefulNotes/TheCommonwealthOfNations, we must mention that the Commonwealth itself is conceptually descended from the idea of an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Federation Imperial Federation]]: those parts of the UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire with "responsible government" (Canada, Australia, Newfoundland,[[note]]at the time separate from Canada[[/note]] New Zealand, and South Africa, plus of course the United Kingdom itself) would become a single, actual federation with an Imperial Parliament and Government at Westminster to set Imperial foreign, military, and colonial policy and regulate relations among its members, while each member would still have control over its internal affairs. This idea actually got a lot of traction, but ultimately the logistics of executing it in early 20th century conspired with [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI events]] to change it into the rather more toothless Commonwealth.
* Canada is a strange case. Starting off as a collection of British colonies with varying degrees of self-government and cultural autonomy, it was unified together in a process known as ''Confederation''. However, the Dominion government had much more power than the provinces at first, due to the concerns by many Canadian authorities that giving the provinces power like the US states would lead to a civil war just like the ones the Americans had recently fought. However, a lot of successful court cases and legislation by politicians (especially [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Mowat one]] from Ontario) led to the provinces gaining ''far'' more autonomy than was originally intended. During different periods of the 20th century (such as the Trudeau era), the Federal Government gained more powers in various areas, coinciding with the development of the welfare state during that time. However, Quebec had also started moving towards more autonomy and possible sovereignty, and won many concessions. Other provinces (such as Alberta and Newfoundland) also found themselves challenging the Feds. The end result is a Federation where the Central Government has a fair amount of power in many areas (such as in criminal law and enforcement, foreign policy and national defense) but where the provinces are also given a surprising amount of autonomy in others (health care, social assistance, natural resource control etc.). This is a really good example of how, while many nations may use the terms "Federation" and "Confederation", the actual mechanisms of government can be very different from each other.
* The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Officially united by their shared Communist ideology, unofficially united by the mere fact they were once provinces of UsefulNotes/ImperialRussia.
** The creation of the Soviet Union in December 1922 was an extremely complex process that would be best characterized as a GambitPileup: even if most of the shards of the former [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russian Empire]] had Bolshevik, or at least Socialist governments at the time (due to victorious military campaigns by the Bolshevik Red Army, which had crushed nationalist and and moderate governments in places like Ukraine and Georgia), they all had their own interests and goals, and even in Russia proper Stalin, Trotsky, Lenin, and Bukharin all had conflicting ideas about what to do next. Everyone was scheming against everyone, but military power played a surprisingly small role in that.
** In practice, however, the undemocratic nature of the Soviet Union, with the Communist Party operating as the nexus of power rather than the official government positions, meant that the Union’s status as a “Federation” was often just a technicality.
** The "technicality" of being a Federation was suddenly no longer a mere technicality when the republics that made up the USSR decided that-since the USSR was a Federation-they were free to leave. And they did.
* The Commonwealth of Australia consists of six independent states that banded together in 1901 to form a larger administrative unit within the British Empire (New Zealand and Fiji were invited and can still join if they want.) It is a strange medium between Canada's and the USA's federations; the states have the powers of the USA's states, but almost all tax revenue goes to the Federal government- which means the states are glorified government service departments. There is still significant variation in law and custom between the states (the most obvious being the definition of a certain kind of sausage, how big and what to call certain units of beer and what code of football the word 'football' is actually referring to.)
* Constitutionally, the Islamic Republic of UsefulNotes/{{Pakistan}} is this. However, because the institutions inherited from [[UsefulNotes/TheRaj colonial days]] haven't had any fundamental changes in terms of relations between the provinces and the central government, it still behaves more or less like TheEmpire, just with Islamabad (or when the military there is in charge, Rawalpindi) replacing London.
* The ''Federal'' Republic of UsefulNotes/{{Germany}} consists out of [[UsefulNotes/TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland sixteen states]]. ([[UsefulNotes/WestGermany Eleven older ones]][[note]]Or just ten, the status of (West) UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}} was a bit complicated.[[/note]] + [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany five new ones]] [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp since 1990]]). This is partly because in its history, [[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies Germany has consisted out of many de-facto independent states for a long time]], and partly in order to avoid too much centralism like during those [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany certain dreadful twelve years]].
** During the 19th century, the German Federation and North German Federation both existed after the collapse of the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire but before the total unification of Germany.
** The UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire and the Empire of 1871 also had aspects of a (con)federation, being composed of different states, each with a citizenship of its own (for instance, father Mozart's father saw to it that his son Wolfgang Amadeus had the citizenship of the Imperial Free City of Augsburg even though he was born and raised in the Bishopric of Salzburg) and armies that, depending on the size of the state, were more or less autonomous. In both the Holy Roman Empire and in the one founded by Bismarck there were great differences between the political systems of the individual states, ranging from absolute monarchies to quasi-democratic republics. In the Holy Roman Empire individual states pursued their own foreign policies and often as not formed alliances with foreign powers or amongst themselves (e. g. the Union (Protestant) and the League (Catholic) in the run-up to the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar).
** The UsefulNotes/GermanEmpire itself was a weirder example of this trope, being a federal monarchy, with the German Emperor (who was also the King of Prussia) ruling over a nation divided into many kingdoms, duchies, and other similar states. Each of these smaller states had their own rulers (the kingdoms, like Bavaria, had their own Kings, for example, while other states were ruled by Princes, Grand Dukes or Dukes, and the Free Cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck were even republics despite answering to a federal monarch) and their own parliaments, and many times had minted some of their own currency and a few larger kingdoms even had their own armies, while the empire as a whole had its own currency and legislature and a combined military force, ultimately ruling as a central government for the rest of Germany.
* Malaysia consists of thirteen states and three federal territories. Similar to the German Empire, it is a federal monarchy; nine of the states have their own rulers. The rulers choose one of themselves as the federal king, who in turn appoints governors for the four states without a ruler. (Singapore used to be a fourteenth state; they left [[ShortRunners less than two years]] after they joined. Singaporeans say that they were expelled, Malaysians say they seceded.)
** Although a federation, the Malaysian constitution gives the federal government so much power and almost all tax revenues that the states are reduced to little more than glorified local governments. The fact that before 2008 almost all state governments were controlled by the same political coalition as the federal government since independence probably didn't help.