The Soutlands, where the Haacobin Empire's city-states are located.
In the Soutlands portion of the Haacobin Empire, the dominant form of polity is the city-state, which consists of a large town or city and its hinterlands, all ruled by a peer who is often assisted by a parliament. A city may hold dominion over other cities as colonies with or without occupying the territory between them, as is the case with. Boschenberg and High Vesting. Relations between the city-state, its neighbors and colonies, and the non-urban areas nominally under its rule can be quite complicated, such that even widely separated states such as Naimes and Brandenbrass may exchange embassies. On top of this are the rivalries and ancient antagonisms between the various races whose descendants populate the Soutlands, the overarching but incomplete Imperial authority emanating from Clementine and the alternats. This comprises the confusing political situation in which the events of the series take place.
It is not mentioned whether a similar arrangement is found in the other parts of the empire or in foreign states. The Gott Empire is also hegemonic, but its constituent parts are not described as city-states.