Evelyne Brie

Assistant Professor

Evelyne Brie

PhD, University of Pennsylvania; MA, Université Laval; BA, Université Laval
Telephone: 519-661-2111 X 85023
E-mail: ebrie@uwo.ca 
Website: evelynebrie.com
Office: SSC 7233  


Research Interests

My research interests include public opinion, electoral behaviour and statistical methods. Most of my work studies the impact of regional identity in explaining political divides in Germany and in Canada. Some of my previous work as a data scientist for the City Lab Berlin includes a prototype to optimize electoral redistricting using digital tools and a prototype of climate data analytics for the city of Berlin.


Current Research Projects

1. The Wall in the Minds: Social Networks and Political Attitudes in Reunified Germany

Social contacts are a powerful predictor of political attitudes. Among others, contacts with out-group members have been proven to hinder or exacerbate in-group favoritism, depending on the context. Germany's partition after the Second World War (1945-1990) offers a unique case to test the persistence of social divides over time, as well as their impact on contemporary issue positioning and vote choice. In this paper, I use Facebook Connectedness Index data (n = 26,800,000 active users, aggregated in 401 districts) and data from the Wahl Navi (n = 492,865), an online survey questionnaire conducted during the 2017 German federal election. Using linear regression models, I measure the social disconnect between all geographical pairings from both regions (n = 159,600). I then mobilize each region's internal variation in interregional connectedness to explain attitudes on salient issues and vote intention for the right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland across districts. Controlling for geographical distance, there is a significant social disconnect between Eastern and Western Germany. Indeed, districts from both regions are half as connected on social media as similar intra-regional pairings. Moreover, results show that increased connectedness with the other region reduces Easterner's vote for the  Alternative für Deutschland, while no such effect is found in Western Germany. Similarly, while Easterners display lower levels of in-group favoritism for social and economic issues when their level of inter-regional connectedness increases, Westerners do not. These results bolster claims about the impact of social networksand intergroup contacts on political attitudes. They also confirm the existence of a social disconnect between Easterners and Westerners 30 years after reunification, using high-quality behavioral data. This indicates that place-based identities created byinstitutional changes can persist long after these institutions have been dismantled.

2. Estimating Female Turnout from Historical Data: The Case of Quebec Women and the Decline of the Liberal Party

The dominant narrative about women’s political behavior in the last century holds that prior to the second wave of feminism, women in today’s rich countries were more conservative than men. If the “traditional” gender gap hypothesis is correct, women should have been especially likely to support conservative parties in the first days of their enfranchisement, particularly in those countries where Catholicism predominated. Yet studying the impact of suffrage in Catholic countries is dicult because many overhauled electoral rules in the midst of a regime transition after the Second World War, making it hard to isolate the impact of suffrage on electoral politics from other political reforms. This paper provides a rare glimpse into the impact of suffrage in a Catholic society by examining the gender vote gap in Quebec, a French-speaking province of Canada. Using census data and constituency-level provincial electoral results from 1939 and 1944, we estimate that the introduction of female voters increased support for the Liberal Party and decreased support for third parties during the 1944 provincial elections. We also find that while women’s votes aided the Liberal Party, the electoral geography of the reform meant that women’s support was insufficient to stem the anti-Liberal tide. In light of these results, we argue that the “traditional” gender vote gap thesis is in need of revision.


Selected Publications

Scholarly Books (Authored & Co-Authored)

  • BRIE, Evelyne and MATHIEU, Félix. "A Divided Country: Identities, Federalism and Regionalism in Canada." Quebec City: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2021. (English edition to be published at the University of Toronto Press).

Nominated for CPSA’s Francophone Prize (2022).
Critical review by Le Devoir (2021) available here.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • BRIE, Evelyne and OUELLET, Catherine, "Exposure to English as a Determinant of Support for Quebec Independence in the 2018 Quebec Elections'', French Politics, 2020. 
  • BRIE, Evelyne and DUFRESNE, Yannick, "Tones from a Narrowing Race: Polling and Online Political Communication during the 2014 Scottish Referendum Campaign'', British Journal of Political Science, 2020. 

Recent Conference Presentations

  • BRIE, Evelyne. PolNet Conference. "The Wall in the Minds: Social Networks and Political Attitudes in Reunified Germany”. July 12th, 2022.
  • BRIE, Evelyne and MATHIEU, Félix, “A Divided Country: Identity, Federalism and Regionalism in Canada:

Université Saint-Boniface, November 30th, 2021.
Université Laval, November 26th, 2021.
University of Alberta, campus Saint-Jean, November 23rd, 2021.
University of Ottawa, November 21rd, 2021.
Université de Montréal, November 2nd, 2021.
Université du Québec à Montréal, October 21st, 2021.
University of Winnipeg, October 7th, 2021.

  • BRIE, Evelyne, “Wahlbezirk-Editor Prototype: Using Open Data for Electoral Redistricting”, Open Data Day Berlin Annual Conference, August 25th, 2021.
  • BRIE, Evelyne, “Politicization of Regional Cleavages: Explaining the Resurging Salience of the East-West Divide in Germany”, University of Montreal, May 19th, 2020.
  • BRIE, Evelyne and TEELE, Dawn, “Quebec Women and the Myth of the Traditional Gender Voting Gap”, American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C., August 31st, 2019.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2022: Faculty Research Development Fund - Faculty of Social Science of Western University - $10,000 
  • 2022: Nomination for the Francophone Prize of the Canadian Political Science Association (Book: A Divided Country: Identities, Federalism and Regionalism in Canada) 
  • 2020: Ph.D. Research Grant - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - 14 000€ 
  • 2019: Warren Miller Fund for Electoral Politics Research Grant - Americal Political Science Association - $2 500 
  • 2019: EUROLAB Research Exchange Grant - GESIS 
  • 2018: Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students - University of Pennsylvania 
  • 2018: Vincent-Lemieux Award - Laval University - $1,000
  • 2017: Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship - Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council - $105,000 
  • 2016: FRQSC Doctoral Graduate Scholarship - Quebec Research Fund for Society and Culture - $60,000