The Democratic Statecraft Lab is a project supported by UVA’s Democracy Initiative

Our research on democracy and authoritarianism addresses the major societal challenges and opportunities presented by the rise of authoritarian populism in the world today. This lab draws on expertise from the College of Arts and Science departments of Politics, Psychology, and History as well as UVA’s Batten School and the School of Law in the areas of research, teaching and public engagement.


Tobias Grossmann is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the development of the social, cognitive and brain processes that underpin adaptive social communication and behavior. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Tobias has published more than 70 journal articles and his research has been continuously funded since 2008 -by the Wellcome Trust (UK), Max Planck Society (Germany) and the National Science Foundation (USA).

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“The impact of our work will reverberate in the future citizen-leaders we educate, in the innovative research that advances our understanding of the democratic project, and in the public engagement that influences its future prospects through policy.”

-Ian Baucom, Dean of Arts & Sciences