Aethodia has a rather unique and comprehensive devolution scheme consisting of numerous divisions ranging from the national to the interpersonal. Many of these divisions exist de facto in other nations, but in Aethodia they exist de jure and have specific roles and patterns of governance.
Each level has the ability to exact taxes on any level below it. Additionally, any level that joined Aethodia willingly is granted the right of national secession for a time.
So-called because these levels are able to govern regions of land without lower levels of government present, these are the primary divisions of the Aethodian federation.
The federal level is governed by the national government of Aethodia. Much of the legislation passed by the federal government are defaults that can be overridden by lower levels. The primary aim of the federal government is to set the ground rules for Aethodian society, and provide guidance to the lower levels -- something the federal government is uniquely suited to, since it is a technocracy that draws talent from across the nation. The federal government also mediates disputes between lower levels. Federal police enforce federal laws on cantonal agents, which are in turn supposed to enforce federal law on their citizens. The federal level also has sole control over the military, to avoid situations where unruly cantons with their own militias attempt to rebel.
Cantons can, at will, form leagues with each other. These leagues typically establish areas in which their participant cantons are to be legally identical, such as in matters of finance. These leagues are similar in nature to supranational organizations, like the EU. Cantons can always, of course, withdraw from any league they are a part of. Leagues require a minimum of two cantons to avoid disbandment, and cantons may join any number of leagues.
The canton is the primary division of the Aethodian federation. Cantons typically encompass a metro area. Municipalities within a canton can, through referendum, leave a canton to either create their own, or join an existing one (with approval from that other canton). Because cantons are so small, there is a broad marketplace of ideas in Aethodia; and because cantons are subject to threat of secession, tyranny is kept in-check. Cantons are expected to enforce both cantonal and federal law. Cantons are governed in various ways; the specifics are mostly left up to each canton to decide for itself.
These levels govern the areas outside the home that an individual will interact with on a day-to-day basis. These only govern lower levels, and never uninhabited land; this distinguishes them from the regional levels.
A municipality is a group of geographically contiguous hoods. Municipalities are typically responsible for providing public services, such as water, electricity, Internet, etc. Hoods within a municipality may secede from a municipality if they wish, though they will lose access to the municipality's public services. Municipalities are governed in various ways; the specifics are mostly left up to each municipality to decide for itself.
A contiguous grouping of lots. This is loosely equivalent to an HOA in the US, but designed in such a way as to avoid the main issues that arise with HOAs. Hoods are governed via a direct democracy of lots, with each lot having voting power in proportion to the amount of land that lot controls within the hood. Hoods often provide extra public services that a municipality might find excessively detailled or expensive, such as trash collection, landscaping, termite bonds, etc. Lots within a hood may secede from a hood to form their own or join another, so long as all hoods remain contiguous; but they will lose access to any hood-provided public services in the process. Hoods have a minimum lot count of two.
A lot is a piece of land, including improvements. Lots are governed by the entity that owns them, in whatever way they desire (within the bounds permitted by applicable higher laws). In the event that ownership is shared, each owner has voting power in proportion to their percentage of ownership, and decisions are made via direct democracy. Tax revenue earned by a lot goes directly into the accounts of the owners, in proportion to their percentage of ownership; likewise, any taxes on lots come out of the owners' accounts in the same proportion. Lots must be part of a hood, unless it is not possible to form a hood (eg, a singular lot surrounded by wilderness).
These levels are on such a small, intimate, and interpersonal level that social relations are alone sufficient to maintain order.
A suite is a portion of a lot in which people live. Most lots have only one suite; but others, such as apartment buildings, have multiple. Suites are effectively anarchies governed via the consensus of the people inhabiting them, including those that are not paying for the suite; though of course with preference given to the ones paying for the accomodations. Suites are, of course, subject to laws laid-out by their parent lot; so a lot-owner cohabitating with a tenant will have de facto far more power to decide on things in the suite than will that tenant.
The family level is a little bit different than the other levels, since Aethodian families are formed as familial corporations, and an individual can be a part of multiple such corporations at one time. The aspects of governance that families control are also not necessarily linked to a given location or piece of property. As such, the family exists outside the normal devolutional hierarchy of the state of Aethodia. All that said, families do play an important role in the inheritance and sharing of property. Families also decide how to raise any children within their corporation. Families are governed by the incorporating members, typically a husband and wife. Adult children do not acquire governing rights in a corporation until the parents have passed away. The parents of a familial corporation are entitled to exact a retirement tax on the other members of the corporation; though the exact details of this are somewhat complex.
The individual is the lowest level in the devolutional hierarchy of Aethodia, and every individual has full powers to govern themselves and their property as they see fit, within the bounds set by higher levels in the scheme.