One example of political manipulation is scapegoating. Political elites frequently exploit fear of others for their own personal gain. Scapegoating involves wrongly blaming a particular group, such as refugees and migrants, for problems a society faces.
For example, Beirut’s trash crisis that sparked protests in 2015 was the result of authorities’ corruption and mismanagement of tender processes. But despite this, many people held Syrian refugees responsible. In one prominent case, Al Nahar newspaper blamed Syrian refugees for the build up of pollution in Lebanon.
- Which group in your society is frequently blamed for social problems?
- Can you identify a political group that might benefit from scapegoating that group?