The conceptual and operational work of the Hanns Seidel Foundation is primarily concentrated in five departments. Whilst the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs focuses on current trends and scholarly research, the Institute for Political Education offers seminars on a number of different topics. The Institute for Scholarship Programmes runs programmes that benefit talented, socially committed academics. The Institute for International Cooperation operates and evaluates development cooperation projects. The main focus here is good governance, democracy-building, help for self-help, and sustainable development. The Institute for European and Transatlantic Dialogue sees itself as a bridge-builder and mediator within Europe and with the USA and Canada.
The Central Services supports these five departments as a service provider. The Banz Monastery Educational Centre and the Conference Centre at the foundation’s headquarters in Munich are places to meet and engage in dialogue. The overarching guidelines governing the foundation’s work include the relationship between citizens and the state and the tension between globalisation and regionalisation. Here too, the focus is on the new role of Germany and Europe as a result of international conflicts and migration, the impact of the increasing individualisation of society and questions of responsibility for future generations.