Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Kirin’s attitude toward royalty. He didn’t get it from me.
Stability is all about order in leadership, of course. Never mind finances or fleets or armies. All you really need is a leader with a crown and scepter. His word is law, no questions asked. One can serve him, or one can rebel. In either case, there will be uncles ready to spring from the woodwork and depose of untested nephews, or queens to seize the crown for their young infants.
But hey, it’s still all in one family. A family who can fight it out among themselves, while wielding great armies and unlimited power. What could ever go wrong?
Frankly, the number of countries accepting monarchy as a matter of course, with some king in a random city overseeing everything is astounded. What is even more astounding is that these nations are still around to wonder at their laziness in creating a government.
Don’t get me completely wrong. A good monarchy can do wonders. But it only lasts as long as the man who holds the crown also holds a sizable portion of power, justice, diligence, and common sense. The odds are decidedly not in the favor of the nation once their king dies trying to do what is right, succumbs to madness due to the pressure of everyone wanting everything, or simply decides to leave and take up something simpler like dragon-wrestling.
Of course, some kings are smart and some people are smarter. There are places where kings are elected—some every dozen years. There are nations where a king is forced to obey his own laws and his bodyguards are also guardians of the law and people. There’s even one nation where a king can be publicly whipped for a mistake then go on ruling as calmly before. They’re a weird people, though.
Sometimes councils rule alongside kings, with councilmen chosen by the people, and the king supported (or deposed) by his councilmen. In some places there are meetings every ten years where the people decide if they want to keep their king or not. In others, kings are randomly drawn by lot and given complete power. Very risky, though it works out somewhat well since a handful of assassins are also drawn by lot and given leave to kill the king if he acts the tyrant. Come to think of it, that is one of the most peaceful nations that I’ve visited.
If you can think of a combination of king and people, checks and balances (or the lack thereof) it has been done somewhere. For however short a time.
Some nations are becoming more original too. Royalty in all its ways is only one way to rule, after all.
In some nations, one race or family ends up ruling over everyone else in a very loose aristocracy. That generally breeds trouble on both levels of leadership, however. Not advisable.
There are democracies, of course, for small nations and villagers. Republics for larger ones. A mix for those who can’t make up their mind. And don’t forget anarchy, mob rule, tyrants, oligarchies, priest-rule, cook-rule, power by might, martial law, and that weird one where a dragon is the ruler but his keeper gets to interpret the dragon’s ‘voice’. I’ve a feeling the keeper might not always be completely honest.
Still, in general, people tend to keep themselves somewhat safer with a government than without one. Just beware whenever you realm leap.
The mice might end up being the ones in charge.