Under Western Eyes: On Farris's In the Name of Women's Rights

Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory 47 (1):143-158 (2019)
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This essay reflects upon the category of femonationalism as theorised in Sara Farris's book, In the Name of Women's Rights: The Rise of Femonationalism, with a focus on her critique of theories of populism. Farris's approach, it is argued, productively pinpoints the exceptional position of Muslim and non-western migrant women in the reproduction of the material conditions of social reproduction in western Europe. However, the force of Farris's Marxist theorisation of femonationalism is partly undermined by the absence of any reference to the conditions of the countries these women come from. A critique of neoliberal capitalism, which centres on the problem of Muslim migrant workers in Europe, should not be indifferent to different complex configurations of Islam with capitalism. Furthermore, while Farris's account of the power politics of different factions in Europe and their fusion of reaction and emancipation is invaluable, she does not articulate her insights into a global politics of emancipation or anti-capitalist struggle. In other words, the book does not address the question of how migrant women could attempt to liberate themselves from their ‘victimhood’ under the conditions lucidly depicted in this book.

Author's Profile

Baraneh Emadian
University of Westminster (PhD)


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