Political Science


Eva Rios is currently a sixth year Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Brown University. She completed an M.A. in Political Science also from Brown University and a B.A. in Statistics and International Studies from Northwestern University. Her research interests include Religion, Education, Security, Public Opinion, Federalism and Subnationalism, and Latin American Politics.

Eva's dissertation broadly examines the consequences of expanding Evangelicalism in Brazil and looks at two policy issue areas in particular: security and education. First, she asks How does variation in Evangelicalism explain variation in public opinion on important issues, like security policy? Second, she asks Once Evangelical politicians are elected, what strategies do they use to pursue the policies that Evangelicals support? And, Are these strategies successful? Finally, her dissertation asks When these strategies fail, How do Evangelical citizens continue the pursuit of these policy changes? And, Are these strategies successful?

Eva's dissertation employs a mixed-method strategy that combines causal inference, surveys, and expert interviews conducted during several months of fieldwork in Brazil in 2022. Throughout her education, including during her undergraduate career, she sought out the most updated quantitative training. Through courses in Political Science and Economics at Brown, Causal Inference Workshops, and other training sessions, Eva has implemented a variety of empirical strategies throughout her research.

Eva's research has been published in Publius: The Journal of Federalism and Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. She was previously a fellow for the Graduate Program in Development at Brown University during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Job Market Paper Title
The Pursuit of Faith Based Policies: Evangelicals and the Censorship of Education in Brazil
Job Market Paper Abstract
Evangelicalism is a global religious movement on the rise – in Brazil, Evangelicals have grown from just 5 percent of the population in 1970 to over 30 percent of the population as of 2021. Evangelicals’ relationship with both the formation of preferences around and the provision of public services is essential as the average Brazilian Evangelical is poor and more reliant on government programs (Datafolha, 2020). As Evangelicalism continues to spread, they are increasingly bringing their faith into important political decisions. How do Evangelicals pursue religiously motivated policy changes? This project implements a mixed method design to explore the effect of Evangelicalism on the provision of education. In Brazil, Evangelicals, an otherwise heterogeneous group, coalesce around the issue of protecting their children from early sexualization by prohibiting teachers from mentioning gender and sexuality in schools. Interviews and a quasi-experimental analysis show while many mayors have proposed legislation that does just that, it is Evangelical parents, school officials, and politicians that successfully restrict curricula by harassing teachers, leading them to self-censor and leave their jobs. This project contributes to the literatures on religion and politics, subnational politics, and education policy.