Sophie Borwein

Assistant Professor


Sophie Borwein is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy. Prior to joining SFU, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Policy, Elections, and Representation Lab (PEARL) at the University of Toronto.

Her primary research connects political economy, political behaviour, and public policy to understand how economic inequality shapes political preferences and government policy responsiveness. She is currently working on a project examining how economic dislocation associated with automation and AI is influencing policy and politics in Canada and other liberal market economies. She has published on topics related to Canadian social policy, immigration policy, and place identity.

She completed her PhD in political science from the University of Toronto in September 2020. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a policy researcher at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

Research Interest

  • Political Economy, Political Behaviour, Canadian Social Policy, Immigration Policy, Place Identity

Selected Publications

Articles in Journals

Cochrane, Christopher, Ludovic Rheault, Jean-François Godbout, Tanya Whyte, Michael W.-C. Wong, and Sophie Borwein. 2021. “The Automatic Analysis of Emotion in Political Speech Based on Transcripts.” Political Communication: 1–24.

Borwein, Sophie, and Jack Lucas. 2021. “Municipal Identity and City Interests.” Political Behavior: 1-20.

Borwein, Sophie, and Michael J. Donnelly. 2021.“Fiscal Burdens and Knowledge of the Immigration Selection Criteria.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 47 (7): 166-188.

Borwein, Sophie. 2021. “Do Ministers’ Occupational and Social Class Backgrounds Influence Social Spending?” Politics, Groups, and Identities: 1–23.


Tuohy, Carolyn Hughes, Sophie Borwein, Peter John Loewen, and Andrew Potter, eds. Policy Transformation in Canada: Is the Past Prologue? Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019.

Borwein, Sophie, and Carolyn Hughes Tuohy. 2019. “Downstream from the Centennial: Navigating Fifty Years of Policy Change.” In Policy Transformation in Canada: Is the Past Prologue?, edited by Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Sophie Borwein, Peter John Loewen, and Andrew Potter, 3-12. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


Borwein, Sophie. 2014. “The Great Skills Divide.” Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario: 1-31.

Borwein, Sophie. 2014. “Bridging the Divide, Part I: what Canadian Job Ads Said.” Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario: 1-38.

Borwein, Sophie and Erica Refling. 2014. “Bridging the Divide, Part II: what Canadian Job Ads Produced.” Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario: 1-19.