The theme of this year's conference, invoking the politics of international studies, reminds us of our responsibilities as academics, analysts and students of international relations. These responsibilities have made us fight long and hard for keeping last year's conference in Izmir - to support those colleagues who had become increasingly marginalised in a deteriorating political situation, to serve as a reminder of those who had lost their jobs or even been imprisoned because of their political views, and to do what we could to open up the political debate again. In the end, we had to declare defeat. The events that followed the failed coup d'etat in mid-July, and in particular the declaration of a state of emergency, meant that we could no longer guarantee the organisation of a conference without state interference. Our red line had been crossed, and our responsibility now became one to withdraw - as a sign of protest, but also in order not to jeopardise further the intellectual and physical integrity of our members.
The cancellation of last year's conference has cost us and you as prospective participants a lot of time, money and nerves. I am all the more grateful for all your support in what has been a very difficult year for EISA. And I am all the more pleased that you have stuck with us and supported us, and that you are now returning to another Pan-European Conference, which I hope will not disappoint you. Our programme chairs, Victoria Basham and Cemal Burak Tansel, have been working hard to put together a first-rate programme, including a set of semi-plenaries and special events. Our local hosts at IBEI are able to provide us with a congenial conference setting in one of the world's most attractive cities. My thanks go to them and all of those involved in making this year's Pan-European Conference a success!
Enjoy the panels, take an active part in the discussions, and let the rest of the world know by tweeting #EISAPEC17. And once you return home, keep Barcelona in good memories while planning already for PEC-18 in Prague, 12-15 September 2018!