Nobody can understand the present without a keen understanding of the past. After all, history is all we have to go on in providing the raw material for making sense of the world we live in today. Successful policymakers often recognize this and turn a view of the past to their advantage in interpreting the present. They appreciate that any good strategy is grounded in a sound view of history. This course explores major historical shifts from European and Asian antiquity up to today. It looks at power in all its dimensions – material, demographic, technological, ideological, military, or religious – and shows how it has influenced and been influenced by broader transformations. Our aim is to better identify the key causes of power shifts, but also to get an impression of the fickleness of established orders in times of change.