Genevieve Profile Picture - credit to Timm Cleasby.

Professor Genevieve LeBaron

Professor, Department of Politics

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

Contact Details:
Room(s): Elmfield 1.24 and ICOSS 3rd floor

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Genevieve LeBaron is Professor of Politics and Co-Director of Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). She is also Co-Chair of the Yale University Modern Day Slavery Working Group, an Editor of Review of International Political Economy, and a UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future Research Leaders Fellow.

Her research focuses on the political economy of the global labour market, including current projects on the governance of transnational supply chains, the politics and effectiveness of corporate social responsibility, and the business models of forced labour.
Her research has attracted funding from the UK ESRC; British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences; British Academy / UK Department for International Development; Ford Foundation; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, amongst other funders.
She has been included in the 2018 UK Top100 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. 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.

Genevieve is co-founder of’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, and develops new strategies for change. She has written for leading newspapers including The Guardian and, and her research on forced labour has been profiled in the international media, including by Reuters, Forbes, Fortune Magazine, The Economist, and The Guardian. She currently writes a column for the United Nations’ Delta 8.7.

Genevieve joined the University of Sheffield as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in 2013. Prior to joining Sheffield, Genevieve was a SSHRC Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. 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.

She has been a visiting scholar 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 was Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, part of the MacMillan Center at Yale University.

 Professional Activities and Recognition

  • 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).
  • Co-Chair, Yale University Working Group on Modern Slavery.
  • 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.

My teaching focuses on global political economy and the global labour market. At the University of Sheffield, I have taught: Business, Labor 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 have taught courses in international political economy and labour studies at Yale University, York University (Toronto), and Simon Fraser University.

PhD Supervision

Laura Foley, “Women on the Move: Analysing the Governance of Domestic Worker Migration in Southeast Asia.”

Anton Eriksson, “The Geography of Emissions and Forward-Looking Responsibility.”

Ed Pemberton, Title TBA


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

Watch: Dr LeBaron interviewed on The MacMillan Report.

Key Projects and Grants

Awarding Body: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Title of Research: The Hidden Costs of Global Supply Chains.
People Involved: Academics include: Peter Klein, Andrew Crane, Peter Dauvergne, Jennifer Clapp, Claire Cutler, Jamie Peck, Phillipe Le Billion, Ben Cashore, Deborah Cowen. Non-academic partners include: NBC News, Google News Lab, New York Times, Smithsonian Channel, the Associated Press, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Frontline.
Years Funded For: 2018-2025.
Amount: $2.5 million.

Awarding Body: British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences & UK Department for International Development
Title of Research: Combatting Modern Slavery Through Business Leadership at the Bottom of the Supply Chain
People Involved: Genevieve LeBaron, Andrew Crane, Laura Spence, Vivek Soundararajan, Michael Bloomfield
Years Funded For: 2017-2019
Amount: £196,850

Awarding Body: UK Economic and Social Research Council
Title of Research: Understanding and Governing the Global Business of Forced Labour
People Involved: Genevieve LeBaron
Years Funded For: 2016-2019
Amount: £280,000
Project Website:


Professor LeBaron’s key publications include:

Books and Reports

Genevieve LeBaron (ed) (2018) Researching Forced Labour in the Global Economy: Methodological Challenges and Advances. Proceedings of the British Academy Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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.

Peter Dauvergne & Genevieve LeBaron (2014). Protest Inc: The Corporatization of Activism. Cambridge: Polity

Journal Articles

Genevieve LeBaron & Luc Fransen (2018) ‘Big Audit Firms as Regulatory Intermediaries in Transnational Labor Governance.’ Regulation & Governance (forthcoming).

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 (2014) ‘Unfree Labor Beyond Binaries: Social Hierarchy, Insecurity, and Labour Market Restructuring.’ International Feminist Journal of Politics 17(1): 1-19.

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.’ WorkingUSA: 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.

Genevieve LeBaron (2008) ‘Captive Labour and the Free Market: Prisoners and Production in the USA.’ Capital & Class 32(2): 59-81.

Media (selective)

Genevieve LeBaron. ‘Understanding Vulnerability to Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains.’ Ethical Trading Initiative blog. 21 June 2018.

Andrew Crane & Genevieve LeBaron. ‘Why Businesses Fail to Detect Modern Slavery at Work.’ The Conversation, 11 September 2017.

Genevieve LeBaron & Andrew Crane. ‘Overseas Anti-Slavery Initiatives Flourish, but Domestic Governance Gaps Persist.’, 11 September 2017.

Genevieve LeBaron. ‘Contemporary Truths in Manon Lescaut: A Powerful Glimpse into Modern Slavery.’ Royal Opera House online, 25 November 2016.

Genevieve LeBaron. ‘When it Comes to Forced Labor, Transparency is Mandatory but Disclosure is Discretionary.’ and, 22 November 2016.

Genevieve LeBaron & Joel Quirk. ‘Can Corporations Be Trusted to Tackle Modern Slavery?’, 13 September 2016.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • UK Department for International Development, London
  • Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies, Sciences Po, Paris
  • International Labour Organization, Geneva
  • British Academy Summer Soirée, London
  • Yale University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Amsterdam
  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati
  • United Nations University, New York
  • King’s College, London
  • Sedex Conference
  • SOAS University of London
  • European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights

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