I kind of wonder if the requirements of interstellar warfare mean that dictatorships have an advantage in that arena. For example, I could see a democracy struggling to get everyone on board about an imminent interstellar threat before it is too late and an attack is launched on them. Or an expanding, peaceful stellar democracy running into some battle hardened empire and getting systematically conquered.
Have you ever read Larry Niven? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-Kzin_Wars#First_Man-Kzin_War - these guys are the utter opposite. The goal of this Mod is to discard the Sci-Fi norm that humans are a peaceful, 'everyman' race and portray us for what we really are - militaristic, divided and ambitious!
I tend to agree with that outlook. I think you would quite like the books Old Man's war and its sequel the Ghost Brigades. The world you are building reminds me of quite a few elements in those books, including a full on stellar dictatorship and Humanity taking its ways to the stars and stirring up trouble!
His collab with Pournelle (who has quite a reputation* but is generally a good read), the Co-Dominium series has a government that we can't quite call democratic, and that's early on, let alone later developments.
*One he would be the first to agree with.
I guess it all depends on the threat or situation. You can have as much space democracy you want if the aliens are like in Mass Effect, where they have some galactic council and with clear coexistence-prosperity aims. Theres not much of a reason to have an earth empire and galaxy conquering armies, if aliens voluntarily come forward and offer parley.
But the mostlikely scenario, which is the most common for scifi settings: a resource depleted earth has to expand to survive. Such a thing leads to war veteran earth, thus a quite militarized society and earth state. Today, even with minor resource conflicts the central civil bureaucracy controls. But when major wars erupt the military matter always take power, even in democratic nations. So the earth gov would be way more aggressive in such strained conditions, as its do or die for humanity in generäl. Theres no outright hate for the aliens, but violence is the privileged method for immediate result. So we Starship Troopers nationalism.
Hi, I burnt out a little at the prospect of getting a whole damn planet's resources mapped out over approx 1600 provs. However I did my last university exam a week ago and I am starting to get sick and tired of idleness (though Factorio (get it... get it now...) will be competing for my time).