Global and social problems are primarily resolved in the sphere of politics, and the tension between the past and the future is crucial for contemporary changes. Political history provides the tools to understand and critically assess many contemporary problems and changes.
Because political history is a historical and social scientific discipline, it takes a much broader view of politics than the traditional state-centred approaches. This view encompasses civic society, media and various organised and unorganised forces and movements.
Political history explores changing economic, social and cultural structures as prerequisites and targets of policy. Another important topic is the political handling and use of history. The examination of international relations extends from foreign policy, diplomacy and wars to changes in the international system, globalisation and European integration as well as non-governmental transnational players.
Teaching and research in political history develop approaches based on social science history in collaboration with the discipline of economic and social history.