Genevieve LeBaron is a Research Fellow at SPERI and Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations.
Her research draws from international theory in order to understand forced labour and labour standards in the global economy. Based on original research gathered through field-based methods including ethnography, surveys, interviews, and supply chain mapping, her research investigates the vital role of forced labour in contemporary business, exploring why and how it emerges and the reasons for its resilience. She is particularly interested in how the changing nature, power, and ownership structure of corporations is impacting labour standards in the global economy. She also researches the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility and state-based regulation in combatting forced labour in supply chains.
Genevieve’s research has attracted international recognition within and beyond academia. She was elected to the College of the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 and has received several prizes, including the British Academy’s Rising Star Award, UK ESRC Future Research Leaders fellowship, and multiple best paper awards. 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 been covered widely in the media, including by The New York Times, Financial Times, 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 Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. She has held visiting positions at around the world, including 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.
Further information about Genevieve can be found at genevievelebaron.com
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.
She currently leads two major research grants. The first, Understanding the Impact of Covid-19 on Modern Slavery in Global Garment Supply Chains, has been awarded by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre through the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and runs through March 2021. It will be conducted in collaboration with the Worker Rights Consortium. The second, Restructuring Business Models and Supply Chains to Promote Fair, Equitable Labour Standards and Worker Rights in the Face of Pandemic, will be conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Yale University and Stanford University. It runs through August 2021 and is supported by Humanity United, in partnership with The Freedom Fund.She is also 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.
- Genevieve LeBaron, Jessica Pliley & David W. Blight (eds) (2021) Fighting Modern Slavery and Trafficking: History and Contemporary Policy. Cambridge University Press. (forthcoming, in press).
- Genevieve LeBaron (2020) Combatting Modern Slavery: Why Labour Governance is Failing and How We Can Fix It. Cambridge: Polity.
- 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.
- Genevieve LeBaron (2021) ‘The Role of Supply Chains in the Global Business of Forced Labour.’ Journal of Supply Chain Management (forthcoming).
- Genevieve LeBaron (2021) ‘Wages: An Overlooked Dimension of Business and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains.’ Business and Human Rights Journal (forthcoming).
- Genevieve LeBaron, Daniel Mügge, Jacqueline Best & Colin Hay. ‘Blind spots in IPE: Maginalised Perspectives and Neglected Trends in Contemporary Capitalism.’ Review of International Political Economy, 2020 (online first, doi: 10.1080/09692290.2020.1830835).
- Jacqueline Best, Colin Hay, Genevieve LeBaron & Daniel Mügge. ‘Seeing and Not-Seeing like a Political Economist: The Historicity of Contemporary Political Economy and Its Blind Spots,’ New Political Economy, 2020 (online first, doi: 10.1080/13563467.2020.1841143).
- Genevieve LeBaron & Jane Lister. ‘The Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chain Solutions.’ Review of International Political Economy (Conditional Accept, forthcoming 2021).
- Robert Caruana, Andrew Crane, Stefan Gold & Genevieve LeBaron (2020) ‘Modern Slavery in Business: The Sad and Sorry State of a Non-Field.’ Business & Society (doi: 10.1177/0007650320930417).
- Genevieve LeBaron & Ellie Gore (2020) ‘Gender and Forced Labour: Understanding the Links in Global Cocoa Supply Chains.’ Journal of Development Studies 25(6): 1095-1117.
- Sebastien Rioux, Genevieve LeBaron & Peter Verovsek (2020) ‘Capitalism and Unfree Labour: Marxist Perspectives on Contemporary Developments in the Study of Modern Slavery.’ Review of International Political Economy 27(3): 709-731.
- Genevieve LeBaron & Luc Fransen (2019) ‘Big Audit Firms as Regulatory Intermediaries in Transnational Labor Governance.’ Regulation & Governance 13(2): 260-279.
- Ellie Gore & Genevieve LeBaron (2019) ‘Using Social Reproduction Theory to Understand Unfree Labour,’ Capital & Class (doi: 10.1177/0309816819880787).
- Genevieve LeBaron & Nicola Phillips (2019) ‘States and the Political Economy of Unfree Labour.’ New Political Economy 24(1): 1-21.
- Genevieve LeBaron & Andreas Rühmkorf (2019) ‘The Domestic Politics of Corporate Accountability Legislation.’ Socio-Economic Review 17(3): 709-743.
- Andrew Crane, Genevieve LeBaron, Jean Allain, & Laya Behbahani (2019) ‘Governance Gaps in Eradicating Forced Labour: From Global to Domestic Supply Chains.’ Regulation & Governance 13(1): 86-106.
- Andrew Crane, Genevieve LeBaron, Kam Phung, Laya Behbahani & Jean Allain (2018) ‘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, Jane Lister & Peter Dauvergne (2017) ‘Governing Global Supply Chain Sustainability Through the Ethical Audit Regime.’ Globalizations 14(6): 958-975.
- Genevieve LeBaron & Andreas Rühmkorf (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.
- Peter Dauvergne & Genevieve LeBaron (2013) ‘The Social Cost of Environmental Solutions.’ New Political Economy 18(3): 410-430.
- Genevieve LeBaron (2012) ‘Rethinking Prison Labor: Social Discipline and the State in Historical Perspective.’ The Journal of Labor and Society 15(3): 327-351.
- Genevieve LeBaron & Adrienne Roberts (2012) ‘Confining Social Insecurity: Neoliberalism and the Rise of the 21st Century Debtor’s Prison.’ Politics & Gender 8(1): 1-25.
- Genevieve LeBaron (2010) ‘The Political Economy of the Household: Neoliberal Restructuring, Enclosures, and Daily Life.’ Review of International Political Economy 17(5): 889-912.
- Genevieve LeBaron & Adrienne Roberts (2010) ‘Towards a Feminist Political Economy of Capitalism and Carcerality.’ Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society 36(1): 19-44.
Journal Special Issues
- Genevieve LeBaron and Jane Lister (eds), The Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chain Solutions, special issue of Review of International Political Economy, 2021 [in press].
- Andrew Crane, Robert Caruana, Stefan Gold and Genevieve LeBaron (eds), Modern Slavery in Business, special issue of Business & Society.
- Genevieve LeBaron, Daniel Mügge, Jacqueline Best, Colin Hay (eds), Blind Spots in International Political Economy: Marginalized Perspectives and Neglected Trends in Contemporary Capitalism, special issue of Review of International Political Economy, 2020.
- Jacqueline Best, Colin Hay, Genevieve LeBaron and Daniel Mügge (eds) Blind Spots in Political Economy: Revisiting the Historical Foundations of Current Thought, special issue of New Political Economy, 2020.
- Penelope Kyritsis, Genevieve LeBaron, and Scott Nova (2020) Hunger in Garment Supply Chains: A Growing Problem Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic. Worker Rights Consortium, 2020.
- 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.