Elizabeth A. Bennett

Elizabeth A. Bennett

Carr Center Fellow

Elizabeth A. Bennett is a scholar and activist focused on how non-governmental actors address labor exploitation in globalized supply chains. In particular, she examines how NGOs and businesses develop creative solutions to the uneven distribution of profit in supply chains, including voluntary sustainability certifications, fair trade, social enterprises, and profit sharing.

Bennett’s current project, Bold Claims, Low Wages: Voluntary Sustainability Certifications, Living Wages, and Globalized Supply Chains examines the ways in which voluntary labor standards have (or have not) supported living wages and worker ownership. The project is supported by a 2021-22 J. Robert Beyster Fellowship from the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR).

Professor Bennett’s research contributes to theories of private business regulation, global economic governance, global value chains, sustainability certifications, social entrepreneurship, and fair trade. Bennett has published in the American Journal of SociologyWorld DevelopmentSustainable DevelopmentAgriculture and Human Values, Globalizations, and the Social Enterprise Journal, among others (available here). She is also the co-editor of The Handbook of Research on Fair Trade with Laura T. Raynolds) and co-author of the political ethnography (The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life).

Dr. Bennett serves on the United Nations Forum for Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) Academic Advisory Committee. She also advises the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) standards committee on issues related to the working conditions of the 3 million workers in GOTS certified facilities. Dr. Bennett is the Joseph M. Ha Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director of Political Economy at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her public engagement includes consulting, public speaking, and commissioned research. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Brown University and a MALD focused on international political economy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.