Genevieve LeBaron is Director of SPERI and Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. She is an Editor of Review of International Political Economy.

She has been included in the 2018 UK Top 100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers and the 2017 global Top 100 Human Trafficking & Slavery Influence Leaders lists, alongside world leaders from the UK and US governments and industry leaders from companies like Apple and Ford. Her research has won a number of awards— including the Rising Star Engagement Award by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences—and has been covered widely in the media, including by the Financial Times, The Independent, Forbes, The Guardian, The Economist, and the BBC.

She has successfully completed research grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences; British Academy / UK Department for International Development (DFID); Ford Foundation; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF); and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, amongst others.

Genevieve joined the University of Sheffield as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in 2013. Prior to that, she was a SSHRC Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. She has held visiting positions at: Yale University; the International Labour Organization in Geneva; the University of California, Berkeley; Osgoode Hall Law School; and Sciences Po, Paris.

In 2015-2016, she held the prestigious Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Fellowship at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, part of the MacMillan Center at Yale University, and continues to lead the Yale Modern Slavery Working Group, based at the Center.

Genevieve leads SPERI’s Labour & Decent Work research theme with Natalie Langford and Ellie Gore.

Further information about Genevieve can be found here.

Research Interests

Genevieve’s work is at the forefront of the emerging evidence base on forced labour, human trafficking, and slavery in the global economy. Since 2008, she has been investigating the business of forced labour, and its role and dynamics within domestic and global supply chains.

Genevieve’s current research focuses on multi-national corporations and the global labour market. She is particularly interested in how the changing nature, power, and ownership structure of corporations is impacting labour standards in the global economy.  She has completed studies on the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility, including ethical certification and social auditing, in addressing labour exploitation and forced labour. 

Genevieve was Principal Investigator on the ESRC-funded Global Business of Forced Labour project, a first-of-its-kind research project examining the business models of forced labour within global agricultural supply chains. This research has been presented to wide-ranging audiences, including at UK DFID, UK Home Office, ILO, Sedex’s annual conference, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and in a special session organised with Baroness Lola Young for tea industry executives at the UK House of Lords.

She is a Co-Investigator on the SSHRC grant, The Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chains, based at the University of British Columbia’s Global Reporting Centre. This grant brings scholars and journalists together to research and report on the complexities of global trade, and includes partnerships with The New York Times, Frontline, NBC News, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Google News Lab, and others.

Key Publications


  • Genevieve LeBaron, David Blight & Jessica Pliley (eds) Fighting Modern Slavery and Trafficking: From Past to Present. Cambridge University Press. (forthcoming)
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2020) Combatting Modern Slavery: Why Labour Governance is Failing and How We Can Fix It. Cambridge, UK: Polity. (forthcoming)
  • Genevieve LeBaron (ed) (2018) Researching Forced Labour in the Global Economy: Methodological Challenges and Advances. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
  • Peter Dauvergne & Genevieve LeBaron (2014). Protest Inc: The Corporatization of Activism. Cambridge: Polity.


  • Remi Edwards, Tom Hunt & Genevieve LeBaron (2019) Corporate Commitments to Living Wages in the Garment Industry. SPERI & University of Sheffield.
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2018) The Global Business of Forced Labour: Report of Findings. SPERI & University of Sheffield.
  • Nicola Phillips, Genevieve LeBaron & Sara Wallin (2018) Mapping and Measuring the Effectiveness of Labour-Related Disclosure Requirements for Global Supply Chains. International Labour Organization Working Paper No 32. Geneva: ILO.
  • Genevieve LeBaron et al (2018) Confronting Root Causes: Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains. London: openDemocracy.

Journal Articles

  • Genevieve LeBaron and Ellie Gore (2019) ‘Gender and Forced Labour: Understanding the Links in Global Cocoa Supply Chains.’ Journal of Development Studies (DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2019.1657570).
  • Sebastien Rioux, Genevieve LeBaron and Peter Verovsek (2019) ‘Capitalism and Unfree Labour: Marxist Perspectives on Contemporary Developments in the Study of Modern Slavery.’ Review of International Political Economy. doi: 10.1080/09692290.2019.1650094
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Luc Fransen (2018) ‘Big Audit Firms as Regulatory Intermediaries in Transnational Labor Governance.’ Regulation & Governance (doi:10.1111/rego.12224).
  • Andrew Crane, Genevieve LeBaron, Kam Phung, Laya Behbahani, and Jean Allain. ‘Innovations in the Business Models of Modern Slavery: Exploring the Dark Side of Business Model Innovation.’ Academy of Management Proceedings, Vol 2018, No 1. (
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Nicola Phillips (2018) ‘States and the Political Economy of Unfree Labour.’ New Political Economy. (doi: 10.1080/13563467.2017.1420642)
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Andreas Rümkorf (2017) ‘The Domestic Politics of Corporate Accountability Legislation.’ Socio-Economic Review. (doi: 10.1093/ser/mwx047)
  • Andrew Crane, Genevieve LeBaron, Jean Allain, & Laya Behbahani (2017) ‘Governance Gaps in Eradicating Forced Labour: From Global to Domestic Supply Chains.’ Regulation & Governance. (doi: 10.1111/rego.12162)
  • Genevieve LeBaron, Jane Lister & Peter Dauvergne (2017) ‘Governing Global Supply Chain Sustainability Through the Ethical Audit Regime.’ Globalizations 14(6): 958-975.
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Andreas Rümkorf (2017) ‘Steering CSR Through Home State Regulation: A Comparison of the Impact of the UK Bribery Act and Modern Slavery Act on Global Supply Chain Governance.’ Global Policy Journal 8(3): 15-28.
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Jane Lister (2015) ‘Benchmarking Global Supply Chains: The Power of the ‘Ethical Audit’ Regime.’ Review of International Studies 41(5):905-924.
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2015) ‘Unfree Labour Beyond Binaries: Hierarchy, Insecurity, and Labor Market Restructuring.’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(1): 1-19.
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2014) ‘Subcontracting is not Illegal, but is it Unethical? Business Ethics, Forced Labour, and Economic Success.’ Brown Journal of World Affairs 20(2): 237-249.
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2014) ‘Reconceptualizing Debt Bondage: Debt as a Class-Based Form of Labor Discipline.’ Critical Sociology 40(5): 763-780.
  • Genevieve LeBaron & Alison J. Ayers (2013) ‘The Rise of a ‘New Slavery’? Understanding African Unfree Labour Through Neoliberalism.’ Third World Quarterly 34(5): 873-892.
  • Genevieve LeBaron (2010) ‘The Political Economy of the Household: Neoliberal Restructuring, Enclosures, and Daily Life.’ Review of International Political Economy 17(5): 889-912.