"It's useful in times of anxiety when people have an enemy to focus on" – Democracy Professor
“Because of globalization, because of financial insecurity, fast developments in the modern world in which some people feel they are left behind there is a lot of anxiety,” a professor of democracy, human rights, and journalism at Bard College, New York, explained. “There are populist politicians, who use this issue to stir up and exploit resentment.”
Similar concerns of people who feel that they are not represented and listened to are behind phenomena like nationalism in China and religious exoticism in the Arab world, Professor Buruma believes. “It’s a kind of substitute for political representation,” he said.