Natalie Langford is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at SPERI. She joined the University of Sheffield in January 2019. Prior to this she was a lecturer in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Natalie completed her PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Emergence of Southern Social Standards in Emerging Markets’ at the University of Manchester in 2018. Her thesis explored the politics of governance within India’s tea industry through the case study of Trustea, a new private social standard for tea consumed domestically. Prior to that, she worked in the NGO sector on issues related to labour and global development.

Natalie leads SPERI’s Labour & Decent Work research theme with Genevieve LeBaron and Tom Hunt.

Research Interests

Natalie’s research focuses on the ways through which spatial and temporal shifts in the geographies of trade, production and consumption impact on the governance of labour standards. She is particularly concerned with how recent transformations under global capitalism have impacted on the rights and conditions of workers, and how a variety of different stakeholders shape new programmes and standards to govern labour standards within global, regional and domestic value chains. She is particularly interested in exploring intersections between the critical international political economy and global development literatures.

Key Publications


  • Langford, N.J. (2021; accepted for publication) From global to local tea markets: The political economy of tea production within India’s domestic value chain. Development and Change
  • Langford, N. (2019) The Governance of Social Standards in Emerging Markets: an exploration of actors and interests shaping Trustea as a Southern multi-stakeholder initiative. Geoforum