I am currently in the process of developing a new Minecraft server. As you may have already seen from the title of this post before clicking on it, the server will be centered around a player-run government along with player-written rules. Nearly every server I have seen in the past has established the commonly stated "staff member" users as the head of the server, usually with unfettered authority that users either love or hate. As I am trying to keep this post simple and not super academic for all you anti-intellectuals out there, these servers you see commonly use what is commonly referred to in real life as an autocratic rule; "absolute rule by one individual or a tightly netted group of individuals". As some servers have succeeded with this system, and many have failed; I personally see the need to change this system of server administration by incorporating the users into deciding the way the server operates and the rules by which the users of the server shall follow.
If you are interested in participating in any way; feel free to leave a post of your ideas, opinions, or critiques below, or...
In terms of government structure, the plan is to set up a functional government in-game, seated with user-selected congress-members that shall periodically vote to approve bills. Bills are proposals that alter the means of game-play by adding a new rule (aka, law), redacting a rule, removing a rule, adding or removing a plugin, making a plugin adjustment, making an adjustment to the economy, the way the government works, etc. These bill proposals shall make up the ground-works in which the server operates and conducts itself, and shall always keep the users' interests in mind.
The government will most certainly include a group of user-elected congress-members but might possibly also include an executive and judicial branch of government as well, like seen in many western countries in real-life. The executive branch could have a user-elected President that may sign congressionally approved bills into law. The judicial branch of government could have a panel of experienced users that have a clear understanding of the baseline rules (constitution), that may rule if congressionally approved bills are "constitutional" or not.
In terms of how these rules are enforced; I was thinking about including a small group of "limited" staff members that serve for the sole purpose of enforcing the rules and not making or twisting them. We could almost see staff members as police-officers/judges in which users will be given the opportunity to appeal their case (like in real life) and have the judicial branch of the government rule on these appeals.
As the way the economy works; it is most certainly going to be a player-run economy with no real admin/server shops in mind. In terms of the servers I've seen, autocracy is still a thing, though the economy is differing from server to server. Many servers use player-run economies (in which some succeed and some don't), while many servers also use server-shop economies (in which some also succeed and some also don't). As the way the economy operates is to be decided, I am leaning towards incorporating a player-run economy to keep the spirit of a "player-run server" alive as much as I possibly can.
As this post is rather long and still in the works, a lot of what you see is subject to change, in which "you", "the user" get to help me decide some of these things that are not 100% yet. Feel free to leave a reply that demonstrates your opinions, constructive critiques (critique, not criticism), or thoughts, and feel free to DM on Discord @ ProPixel#2065 or join the Discord server link that I listed above.