Ilya Somin's Volokh Conspiracy post "How Federal is Star Trek's Federation?" is an interesting attempt at exploring the political structure of the United Federation of Planets. While this is admittedly a flawed project simply because of the very limited view of Federation society that Star Trek viewers receive thanks to the shows' focus on Starfleet, it's definitely good enough to show up the inadvertant contradictions in Federation political economy created by decades of writers. Is the 24th century Federation classifiable at all by 21st century political science standards, and what role if any do oney and property play on Earth, possibly as opposed to Vulcan and other worlds? I don't buy Somin's suggestion that the Federation is an updated version of the Delian League, Earth playing the role of Athens, if only because Earth doesn't seem that aggressive a planet, but who knows, perhaps human colonies play that role.