UMB‘s Institute for Democracy has its roots in the university’s post-communist development and the rapid institutional response to the rise of a neo-nazi movement that swept the 2013 regional elections in the university’s home of the Banská Bystrica region, historically a center of anti-nazi movement in Slovakia. In response UMB academics worked together with civic organisations and local activists and set up successful initiatives aimed at countering this threat and fostering democracy. The resulting tight-knit collaboration with local communities and Slovakia’s civic sector produced a significant pool of talent in defending democracy which was recently formally institutionalized in the Institute for Democracy at UMB, which serves as the hub of BRRIDGE activity.