What this means is background about the topic. NOT background on research accomplished so far. So, it provides more of the who what when where why of the topic. If you say you’re going to study contemporary student protests in Nigeria, for example, then in this section you’d sketch the recent history of student protests and the larger political/economic/social context they arise from on universities and more broadly. This section is hard to write because of course it could be a book in its own right, but it must be no more than about 2 paragraphs. But this is critical to show us the larger CONTEXT of the proposed topic, so that we see the proposed new research on that topic as being something both legitimate and interesting.
The suppression of the thesis from 1993 to 2001 at the request of the Clinton White House was documented in March 2007 by reporter Dedman, who read the thesis at the Wellesley library and interviewed Rodham's thesis adviser. Dedman found that the thesis did not disclose much of Rodham's own views.  A Boston Globe assessment found the thesis nuanced, and said that "While [Rodham] defends Alinsky, she is also dispassionate, disappointed, and amused by his divisive methods and dogmatic ideology."  Schechter told that "There Is Only The Fight . . ." was a good thesis, and that its suppression by the Clinton White House "was a stupid political decision, obviously, at the time."