Welcome to the 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations! What began as a slightly risky experiment in Heidelberg in September 1992 has proved to be a sustainable and increasingly important event. There is such a thing as an IR community in Europe and the Pan-European Conferences have made a significant contribution to constitute the community. It is perhaps insufficiently developed in terms of principles, norms and rules but vibrant, innovative and in motion it is. And, equally important, we can improve what might be insufficiently developed and therefore invite you to engage.
On behalf of EISA I am proud to be able to bring the conference to Sicily and most grateful to the University of Catania for its generous support. Sicily is situated at the crossroad between North and South, East and West. Whereas the conference venue, Giardini-Naxos, was a Greek colony for years, we will also be close to the former epicentre of Mediterranean sea-power, Malta, later a British station on the passage to India and everything “East of Suez”. Currently it is often the arrivals of migrants that make Sicily hit the headlines of global news.
The conference is the 9th in a row. In addition to Heidelberg, we have previously been in Paris, Vienna, Canterbury, The Hague, Turin,Stockholm and Warsaw. During the first 20 years under the auspices of the largely autonomous Standing Group on International Relations and since Warsaw under the auspices of EISA. The 9th edition of the conference might prove to be the biggest ever in Europe, a clear indication that International Relations is a thriving discipline that with its own association in place is bound to grow. Hence, the conference will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the genealogies of the discipline as well as the balance between discipline and inter- or trans-disciplinarity. Theme-wise the conference focuses on the classic issue of violence yet (re-)presented with an innovative twist. At the same time, the 60+ sections mirror the amazing diversity and intellectual span of International Studies as it has developed during more than a century.
Knud Erik Jørgensen