Inspired mainly by two conferences on "The Right to Culture (as a Human Right)" held 2013 in Wroclaw and Warsaw, both co-organised by the City of Wroclaw and the National Cultural Centre, Warsaw and with the participation of experts of the Council of Europe/ERICarts Compendium of Cultural Policies & Trends in Europe and the European Association of Cultural Researchers (ECURES), Andreas Joh. Wiesand had the idea to develop, together with the best specialists, an authoritative guide to cultural dimensions of Human Rights.

Since such a comprehensive reference work had been missing on the book market, the City of Wroclaw agreed in 2014 to make it a project for its turn as "European Capital of Culture 2016". Based on additional research provided by ARCult Media, the Editors and the Scientific Committee developed the concept further in 2015/16. More details, including as regards the methodology, can be found in the Introduction of the Handbook.

The 14th Experts’ Assembly of the Council of Europe/ERICarts "Compendium", held on 12/13 November 2015 in Wroclaw, dealt with "A Human Rights Approach to Cultural Policies" as its main theme. At the Public Forum of the Assembly, the concept of the Wroclaw Commentaries has been presented and publicly discussed for the first time. See more in the Agenda of that Meeting.

On 14 November 2016, the official launch of the Handbook took place in the context of a Symposium held in Wroclaw.

The Wroclaw Commentaries are published by de Gruyter and ARCult Media in the framework of Wroclaw's role as European Capital of Culture 2016.

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