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Researching Forced Labour in the Global EconomyMethodological Challenges and Advances$
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Genevieve LeBaron

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266472

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266472.001.0001

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Methodological Challenges in the Business of Forced Labour

Methodological Challenges in the Business of Forced Labour

(p.25) 2 Methodological Challenges in the Business of Forced Labour
Researching Forced Labour in the Global Economy

Genevieve LeBaron

Andrew Crane

British Academy

Most forced labour takes place in business contexts, yet the business logics of exploitation are rarely explored empirically. This gap relates to the lack of researchers in the field with specific expertise in business and management, as well as the methodological and logistical challenges with researching the business dynamics of forced labour. This Chapter will argue that we need to take the business of forced labour seriously if we are to understand and address it in a meaningful way. We propose an analytical framework that can be used to understand the business and organisational dynamics of forced labour. Drawing on our own research on forced labour’s business models and supply chains, we reflect on how business methodologies can be strengthened to overcome the substantive gaps that exist in our knowledge about how forced labour works as a business.

Keywords:   modern slavery, forced labour, research methods, global supply chains, business

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