Sogad Model of Statehood
The nature of statehood in Sogadar can be boiled down to a collection of independent city-states paying tribute and subordination to an overlord city. The state is unlike any modern concepts of nation states or even the medieval feudalism since the state is not determined by artificial boundaries or any obligations to the Kingdom. Rather, Sogad statehood is based on the personal relationship of the overlord and its subordinate and the sphere of influence he projects to the surrounding polities in the area. This model of statehood is based on the Southeast Asian “Mandala Political Model”, which emphasises the control of people, not land.
The territorial hierarchy of a typical Sogad Kingdom can illustrate this model of statehood further:
- Bhoum - The overlord Kingdom ruled by the Saka (King), functioning like a traditional kingdom would.
- Naghral - Kingdoms ruled by the Pad-Agha (Master of Lords), outside the direct rule of the Saka but are limited to be ruled by his close relatives and relations.
- Shahrab - City-states ruled by the Shahrban (Town-keeper), they are independent tributaries that send an annual tribute and uphold military and labour obligations to the Saka in return for the Saka’s own obligation to protect and trade with them. The Shahrab’s tributary relation is not limited to a single overlord, often paying two tributes to two overlords when the sphere of influence between two Saka’s overlap, effectively making them a buffer zone between two Sogad Kingdoms.
- Zandar - Nomadic tribes and settlements that are virtually independent from any control of the state. They are heavily taxed for using government infrastructure, such as wells, roads, and Qanats, and for entering cities and settlements to trade.
The majority of land within Sogadar are sparsely populated and unfit for agriculture. Thus, small pockets of arable land came to be ruled by independent and self-sustaining city states. Since most of the land is not particularly desirable, People became the main focus for states to control and expand into. And as people in Sogadar have no concept of loyalty to an abstract state and foreign King, expansion and control of these people is determined by the power and influence the Saka exudes over the region rather than by direct conquest. Sogad states are therefore defined by its political center rather than its territorial boundary, becoming like the ripples in a puddle of water that gradually diffuses in a circle from its center of power.