The IISH organizes the ESSHC once every two years. The conference does not have a central theme and welcomes papers about all periods and subjects. The main objective of the conference is to introduce historians who use the insights and techniques from the social sciences to social scientists that focus on the past in their research and vice versa. The conference is advised by the Advisory Board.
The programme revolves around 28 thematic networks that address various subjects. Specialists in each field serve as network chairs and are the driving forces in elaborating the program. This approach is conducive to organizing interdisciplinary panel sessions for an interdisciplinary and international audience.
ESSHC Networks include: