We are delighted to welcome you all to EISA's 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations. This year’s conference takes place in Barcelona, which strikes us as a poignant setting for a conference dedicated to exploring 'The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crises'. In 1936, Barcelona became the city where the opening shots of what was to become the Spanish Civil War were fired. In 1992 it hosted the Olympic Games which saw Germany sending a unified team for the first time since 1964. During the Games the closely fought 10,000m track race between the white South African runner Elana Meyer and the black Ethiopian athlete Derartu Tulu finished with Tulu winning and both runners completing a lap of honour hand in hand. We chose this year's conference theme because we are not only aware of the complex challenges that mark our contemporary era but of the significant resources that we as scholars have at our disposal in negotiating them. We take heed but also heart from the knowledge that the contemporary challenges facing our societies and the world at large are achingly similar to those that helped trigger the formation of the discipline. As such, we are sure that there is no better time to ask how the discipline can help design political, economic and social alternatives beyond the existing configurations that underpin the current crises and we hope that you will find the conference a source of inspiration.
Victoria Basham and Cemal Burak Tansel