"The United Federation of Planets is structured as a republic. Constituent planets are largely self-governing, but the Federation is ruled by a split system of a Council, President, and Supreme Court. These enforce a few laws, and a much larger set of regulations, trade treaties, and mutual defense pacts. There are strict requirements for entry, including recognition of several natural rights, and a minimum technological level. Planets lacking warp technology are not permitted to join the Federation, but are also subject to several protections designed to prevent cultural contamination. The Federation maintains Starfleet, which acts as a combined humanitarian, research, and military arm for the interests of the Federation as a whole. Several constituent species also maintain their own fleets for similar purposes, though Starfleet has long been the largest and most advanced."
"In this region of the galaxy, the most significant other polities are the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Tholian Assembly."
She brings up a map of the quadrant on a viewscreen, highlighting the borders and regions as they come up.
"The Klingon Empire is a bit of a misnomer, as the Klingons have been ruled by a Council and a Chancellor for multiple centuries. However, they are an aggressive and expansionary society, and in our history have frequently fought with the Federation. Sixty-seven years ago the Klingon Empire agreed to a peace treaty, so in the present age we have significant tensions but little open conflict. Klingon citizens appear to have little complaint for their government, and most internal Klingon political divisions appear to relate to the availability of better opportunities for battle. Non-Klingon citizens have more discontent, as reports suggest they are heavily exploited for productive labor in order to free up resources for Klingons to spend their time fighting."
"The Romulan Star Empire is poorly understood, due to their xenophobia and unwillingness to permit cultural exchange. They claim a much smaller volume of space than the Federation, and rule few other species within their borders. As far as we can tell, life for the other species is heavily restricted to the point of oppression or slavery. We have little evidence of quality of life for the Romulans themselves, except that assassination and political purges are common. They are ruled by a Senate and an Empress, but the exact details are unclear. After negotiating a neutral zone between our respective territories, the Romulans have largely avoided all contact with the Federation, and in fact refused to even show their faces during negotiations over that zone."
"The Tholian Assembly is even more unknown, rarely leaving their own borders or acknowledging any communication. They demand exacting respect for their borders, giving any ship that passes them an explicit ultimatum to leave within a a certain amount of time or be destroyed. The Tholians are known to have strange technology based off of different design principles than our own, and appear to be a large insectoid species that requires high environmental temperatures. It is unknown whether any humanoid species live within their territory."