Professor Genevieve LeBaron

Department of Politics and International Relations

Professor of Politics

Co-Director, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI)

Politics staff photo of professor Genevieve LeBaron
g.lebaron@sheffield.ac.uk

Full contact details

Professor Genevieve LeBaron
Department of Politics and International Relations
1.24
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
Sheffield
S10 2TU
Profile

Genevieve LeBaron is Professor of Politics and Co-Director of Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. She is an Editor of Review of International Political Economy.

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 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.

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 ~£300K 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 $2.5 million 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.

She has been Principal or Co-Investigator on additional grants from 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.

Watch: a short documentary of Professor LeBaron's research commissioned by Yale University

Watch: Dr LeBaron interviewed on The MacMillan Report

Research group

I currently supervise four PhD students:

Laura Foley: Women on the Move: Analysing the Governance of Domestic Worker Migration in Southeast Asia [European Research Council funded]

Remi Edwards: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: Exploring the Power of Worker-Driven Alternatives to Address Modern Slavery in Global Value Chains [ESRC funded]

Charline Sempere: Why Are Women Workers More Vulnerable to Forced Labour? [ESRC funded]

Ed Pemberton: The Domestic Politics of Global Consumption [second supervisor]

I am open to receiving requests to supervise students interested in undertaking PhD research on the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility, forced labour, labour standards, and global value chains in the global economy.

Teaching activities

At the University of Sheffield, I have taught courses on global political economy, gender and the global labour market, including: Business, Labour and Migration (POL 6609); Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Slavery in the Global Economy (POL 3159); The Political Economy of Globalisation (POL 612); and Gender in the Global Political Economy (POL3145).

I am not presently teaching within the Politics Department due to my SPERI Directorship. But I am overseeing and supporting a number of SPERI initiatives that are run for (and sometimes by) students. These include SPERI’s Doctoral Researchers Network, PREPPE, and SPERI events, including our Seminar Series. Students within the Department of Politics are warmly welcomed to get involved in these initiatives.

Before moving to Sheffield, I have taught courses in international political economy, international relations, business, and labour studies at Yale University, York University (Toronto), and Simon Fraser University.

Professional activities
  • Winner, Best Paper Award and Best Business Ethics Paper Award, Academy of Management Conference 2018.
  • Co-Editor, Review of International Political Economy.
  • Columnist, United Nations knowledge platform, Delta 8.7
  • British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2015-2017).
  • ESRC Future Research Leader (2016-2019).
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour, International Labour Organization (2015).
  • Yale University Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Fellow (2015-2016).
  • Development Board Member, Social Responsibility Alliance.
  • Reviewer for publishers including Oxford University Press, Polity, Zed Books.
  • Reviewer for funding bodies including the UK Economic and Social Research Council & Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Downloads

Decent Work and Economic Growth (PDF 1.40MB)

Corporate Commitments to Living Wages in the Garment Industry (PDF 1.07MB)