Dr Genevieve LeBaron
Telephone: +44 (0)114 2221688
Personal Website: www.genevievelebaron.org
Genevieve LeBaron is Senior Lecturer in Politics attached to both the Department of Politics and SPERI at the University of Sheffield. She is also Co-Chair of Yale University’s Modern Day Slavery Working Group housed at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition and a UK ESRC Future Research Fellow (2016-2019). She joined the University of Sheffield as Vice-Chancellor's Fellow in 2013.
Genevieve’s research focuses on the political economy of the global labour market, including current research projects on the governance of labour standards in transnational supply chains and the business models of forced labour.
She is Co-Founder and Editor of openDemocracy.net’s Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, a popular journalistic site that brings together stakeholders who are serious about tackling modern slavery’s economic, political, and social root causes. She has written for leading newspapers including The Guardian and Salon.com, and her research on forced labour has been profiled widely in the media including Fortune Magazine, The Economist, and The Guardian. In 2015, she was awarded the Rising Star Engagement Award from the British Academy in recognition of her contributions to research and policy-making on forced labour.
Prior to joining Sheffield, Genevieve was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, where she remains an Honorary Research Fellow. There, she co-authored Protest Inc: The Corporatization of Activism (Cambridge: Polity, 2014, with Peter Dauvergne), which was shortlisted for the BISA-IPEG Book Prize and is currently being made into a documentary film. She has been Yale University’s Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Fellow and a Visiting Scholar at the International Labour Organization in Geneva and the University of California, Berkeley.
Genevieve has received grants from the Ford Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences, UK Economic and Social Sciences Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Professional Activities and Recognition
In 2016-2017, I am teaching POL3159: Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Slavery in the Global Economy. At the University of Sheffield, I have also taught POL612: The Political Economy of Globalisation and have developed POL3145 Gender in the Global Political Economy and a new MA module, Business, Labour, and Migration. I have taught courses on labour studies, globalisation, and business at Yale University, York University (Toronto), and Simon Fraser University.
"My teaching philosophy is simple: Recognising that political economy is not a far-off and distant object but rather a force that shapes our daily lives, I try to create courses that are current and relevant to students and encourage them to integrate and consolidate their own experiences. By treating students as intellectual colleagues who bring fascinating insights and ideas to the debate, I strive to create learning environments that not only foster critical thinking and deep analytic reading, but also enable students to understand why these abilities matter."
Watch: Dr LeBaron interviewed on The MacMillan Report.
Dr LeBaron is currently focused on two projects:
I. Challenges in Researching the Shadow Economy
Forced labour, human trafficking and slavery are widely believed to be rapidly proliferating in the global economy. There is however, no reliable global estimate of slavery or trafficking, nor a sound methodology for measuring prevalence of severe labour exploitation. Given the risks associated with researching the shadow economy, few scholars and organizations have even attempted to collect hard data. Reliable estimates and data are necessary for future research on forced labour. This programme will provide a vehicle for an interdisciplinary group of expert scholars to tackle this problem.
Funded by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences
II. Understanding and Governing Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains
The overall aim of this research is to achieve an in-depth understanding of how forced labour (and overlapping practices like slavery and human trafficking) operate in global supply chains. Key questions include: What factors create 'demand' for forced labour within supply chains? What are the pathways that allow forced labour access to formal industry? How effective are recent public and private governance initiatives to combat forced labour, especially in the sub-tiers of global production? These questions will be investigated through a range of qualitative methods including elite interviews with key informants and ethnographic field research among workers themselves. Supply chain analysis will be used to understand the firm-to-firm dynamics of forced labour along the supply chain (raw material, component, manufacture, distribution and retail). Project partners include Yale University, the International Labour Organization, UK House of Commons, Impactt Ltd, and openDemocracy.net.
Funded by UK Economic and Social Research Council Future Research Leaders Grant.
Key Projects and Grants
Awarding Body: British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Awarding Body: UK Economic and Social Research Council
Reviews in refereed journals
Newspaper and Magazine Articles (selective)
Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures