The strength of an empire comes from its vast reach and resources under its purview. However, its weakness lies in its size as well, which players will no longer be able to mitigate.
All means of increasing Administrative Capacity have been removed. While there are ways to reduce the Empire Sprawl generated by various sources, and this will be used to help differentiate gameplay between different empire types, empires will no longer be able to completely mitigate sprawl penalties. Penalties and sprawl generation values have been significantly modified.
Bureaucrats, Priests, Managers, Synapse Drones, and Coordinators will be the primary sources of Unity for various empire types. Culture Workers have been removed.
Autochthon Memorials, and similar buildings, now increase planetary Unity production and themselves produce Unity based on the number of Ascension Perks the Empire has taken. Being monuments, they no longer require workers.
The Edicts Cap system has been removed. Toggled Edicts will have monthly Unity Upkeep which is modified by Empire Sprawl. Each empire has an Edicts Fund which subsidizes Edict Upkeep, reducing the amount you have to pay each month to maintain them. Things that previously increased Edict Capacity now generally increase the Edicts Fund, but some civics, techs, and ascension perks have received other thematic modifications.
Since Factions are no longer producing Influence, a small amount of Influence is now generated by your fleet, based on Power Projection - a comparison of your fleet size and Empire Sprawl.