Perla Polanco Leal

Perla Polanco Leal


  • M30 Crawford House, Oxford Road

    M13 9PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


I am a Lecturer in the field of Global Political Economy. My research interests and experience are focused on social and environmental sustainability in global supply chains, as well as the colonial legacies in the global economy.


I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield (2019). My doctoral thesis focused on the Mexican extractive industries and energy policy. In this research I explored how resource nationalism perpetuates colonial dynamics and limits the government’s ability to pursue ambitious climate change policy.

Before joining The University of Manchester in 2022, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. I was a researcher at Re:Structure Lab – a collaboration between Stanford University, Yale University and the University of Sheffield. The Lab, brings a multi-disciplinary academic expertise on modern slavery with valuable practical experience in business model innovation and policy change at local and global levels.

At the University of Sheffield, I also collaborated on an AHRC funded project to investigate forced labour amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in the garment industry in Ethiopia, Honduras, Myanmar, and India. The project was conducted in collaboration with the Workers’ Rights Consortium, in Washington DC, and The Toronto Star newspaper in Canada.


I teach modules at UG and MA level in the field of Global Political Economy and I supervise UG and MA Dissertations in IPE and IR.

At MA level I teach on POLI70422 Global Governance, POLI70282 Critical Globalisation Studies and POLI60312 Research Design and Skills.

At UG level I teach on POLI10502 Politics of the Global Economy and SOC30001 Topics in PPE.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Politics, The University of Sheffield

Areas of expertise

  • JZ International relations


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