On behalf of the European Society for Health and Medical Sociology and ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, I am truly honoured to welcome you to Lisbon for the 17th ESHMS Biennial Congress.

Hundreds of participants are expected from all over Europe and beyond, thus proving the ESHMS biennial conferences to be one of the main events worldwide in the field of medical sociology and sociology of health and illness.

Under the theme ‘Old tensions, emerging paradoxes in health: rights, knowledge, and trust’, the congress aims to offer a forum for new insights into the tensions and paradoxes health systems are currently facing as a result of broad social and political transformations. These include climate change, migrations, economic crises, citizens’ quest for inclusiveness and freely deciding on their own lives, distrust of professional self-regulated work models and decisions, struggle for recognition and legitimacy by different professional groups, or the growing role of the market in the provision of care and funding of scientific research. Despite the progress of academic research in addressing these issues, the exposure of healthcare to the market, to politics, as well as to countervailing forces, rationalities and interests makes the renewal of this debate both timely and necessary.

Scholars from sociology and other social sciences, from the humanities and health sciences as well as policy-makers are welcome to join us and benefit from the opportunity to present and exchange ideas in Lisbon, ranked 12th in World’s Top Destinations by TripAdvisor 2016 Travellers’ Choice. Here you will find a safe and friendly city that is also full of life.

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