Weakly versus Strongly Structured State- and Non-State Actors
THE CASE OF STATE ACTORS
The strong state governs in a way that every operation, every transaction, is noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, reformed, corrected, punished [Pierre-Joseph Prudhon, in Scott, James C.. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. Yale University Press]. The strong state organizes its resources, including water, land, people, etc., in a meticulous way. In communist systems, this was referred to as command system where the state owns and decides on the distribution and use of all production factors. Despite the political transition at the end of 1991, the approach is – for example – still in place in the water sectors of the Central Asian Republics.
Such institutional environments are characterized by strict rules about water accounting that are deeply embedded in the administrative processes as well as reflected by the hierarchy of the administration itself. In such systems, new innovation technologies on monitoring are hard to anchor as the strong state has strict rules about technology and measurement standard compliance with existing standards. Compliance with these standards is a minimal requirement for the consideration of these technologies.