New Book


21st May 2017


In the Name of Women’s Rights: The Rise of Femonationalism

By Sara R. Farris

In this book Sara R. Farris examines the demands for women’s rights from an unlikely collection of right-wing nationalist political parties, neoliberals, and some feminist theorists and policy makers. Focusing on contemporary France, Italy, and the Netherlands, Farris labels this exploitation and co-optation of feminist themes by anti-Islam and xenophobic campaigns as “femonationalism.” She shows that by characterizing Muslim males as dangerous to western societies and as oppressors of women, and by emphasizing the need to rescue Muslim and migrant women, these groups use gender equality to justify their racist rhetoric and policies. This practice also serves an economic function. Farris analyzes how neoliberal civic integration policies and feminist groups funnel Muslim and non-western migrant women into the segregating domestic and caregiving industries, all the while claiming to promote their emancipation. In the Name of Women’s Rights documents the links between racism, feminism, and the ways in which non-western women are instrumentalized for a variety of political and economic purposes.

For more information, and to order the paperback edition at a 30% discount, please visit and enter coupon code E17RGHTS during checkout.

If you are interested in reviewing the book and would like a review copy, please contact Jessica Castro at Duke:

At this link you can read the introduction: 

“How and why did the unlikely combination of right-wing political parties, some feminists, and neoliberal policy makers converge in campaigns for non-western (especially Muslim) migrant women’s rights? In this compelling and rigorous book, Sara R. Farris insists that political economy provides an answer: in the face of the privatizing of social welfare provisions, non-western migrant women perform an increasingly important strategic role in social reproduction through care and domestic labor. They have become a regular army of labor, indispensable for the workings of western European neoliberal capitalist economies. The range of empirical and theoretical materials is impressive and the relevance of the book to current debates about Islamophobia and the ‘immigrant question’ in western Europe is invaluable. Farris is a scholar to reckon with and appreciate.” — Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

In the Name of Women’s Rights is an important and timely book. It lays out the hijacking of feminism by the ‘unholy trinity’ of far-right nationalism, certain prominent factions of feminism, and neoliberalism in the service of an anti-Islam agenda in France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Foregrounding the concept of ‘femonationalism’—the ideological formation by which the West is always already superior to the Rest—Sara R. Farris draws on ongoing colonial knowledge formations.” — Gloria Wekker, author of White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race