Institutionalization of Chambers of Nursing in Germany

Headed by:
Dr. Kathrin Loer
Project Status:
since 2015

Type of project: Research project

Project Outline

As a classic form of corporatist negotiation and administration systems, chambers fulfill a series of functions for professionals. Since chambers are regularly subject to criticism and corporatist structures are questioned in general, one seemingly anachronistic trend in nursing policy is surprising: that chambers of nursing are on the rise. The often-stated pluralization and liberalization in German social politics, which can prove a challenge to and even erode self-governing institutions, also compounds the need for an explanation of new institutionalization. Seemingly, newly institutionalized chambers of nursing could be interpreted as a response to the pressing problems in this sector. However, observing the processes of political negotiation reveals that this trend is actually about specific constellations of actors, their interests, and the opportunity to use a high-profile problem strategically.

As a first step, the project has conducted an explorative study on the negotiation processes in the individual federal states in Germany. The results identify conditions leading to an intrinsic momentum in the political negotiation process that is conducive to the institutionalization of a chamber of nursing. Comparing the federal states reveals a divergence that will be further examined in the second step of the project. Accordingly, the analysis concentrates on the empirical investigation of institutionalization processes of chambers of nursing or the decision by some states to refrain from such institutionalization, respectively. In this way the project contributes insights on nursing policy as a field of social policy that is becoming increasingly relevant. In addition, the project ties in to debates in political science on the (non-)creation of institutions.

Reports, Manuscripts, Working Papers

  • Loer, Kathrin: Keep calm and trust the Pflegekammer - politische Aushandlungsprozesse in der Diskussion um die Pflegekammer. Discussion Paper for the annual conference of FoJuS in Munich 2014.