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This article deals with the recent changes, the past challenges and the future topics of social history in Europe. It describes first major changes of social history in the recent past such as the change of topics and methods, the change of nation as unit of analysis, and of the co-operation with other disciplines. These changes are explained by recent challenges for social history writing such as the shifts of European societies away from the classical topics of social history, the trend of internationalization, the cultural turn and the upheaval of 1989/90. The end of the article presents what might be future topics of social history: the return to the history of burning social questions, the social history of politics, the cultural enlargement of social history and the social history of Europe as a whole.