Perspectives on Protest in East Asia

  • Hillary Mi-Sung Kim
  • Matthew Schauer
  • Alyssa Mendlein
  • Alice Murata
  • Michelle Murata
  • Andrea Jones-Rooy
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 7)


The views of ordinary East Asians concerning individual rights to stage protests were investigated in the context of historical and political events in the region. A total of 321 participants from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (average age = 30 years old) were through snowball and convenience sampling. Both deductive analyses and grounded theory approaches were used to code their responses to the Personal and Institutional Rights to Aggression and Peace Survey (PAIRTAPS; Malley-Morrison, Daskalopoulos, & You, International Psychology Reporter 10:19–20, 2006). A majority of respondents affirmed the right of individuals to protest; the most common justifications confirming this right focused on human rights, socially sanctioned rights, general agreement with the rights, and nonviolence. Most respondents also indicated a willingness to support protestors in response to a hypothetical vignette. The most common themes in responses rejecting the right to protest were pseudo-moral reasoning, distortion of the consequences of protestor action, and denial of personal responsibility. Our findings also showed intraregional group differences by gender and military experience in views concerning individual rights to stage protests. Findings were discussed in their historical and political contexts as well as in relation to Bandura’s (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71:364–74, 1996, Personality and Social Psychology Review 3:193–209, 1999) theory of moral disengagement.


Moral Disengagement Liberal Democratic Party Military Experience Protest Movement Hunger Strike 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Apter, D. E., & Sawa, N. (1984). Against the state: Politics and social protest in Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(3), 193–209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V., & Pastorelli, C. (1996). Mechanisms of moral disengagement in the exercise of moral agency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(2), 364–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Befu, H. (Ed.). (1993). Cultural nationalism in East Asia: Representation and identity. Berkeley, CA: Institute of East Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  5. Chang, M.-K., & Chang, Y. (2010). Rosy Periwinkle”: The Politics of the Licensed Prostitutes Movement in Taiwan. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 255–81). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, DW. (1994). The emergence of an environmental consciousness in Taiwan. The other Taiwan: By Murray A. Rubinstein (pp. 257–286). M.E. Sharpe, Inc. Armonk, NYGoogle Scholar
  7. Choi, J. J. (1993). Theory of Korean democracy. Seoul: Han’gilsa.Google Scholar
  8. Chu, Y-H. (1994). Social protests and political democratization in Taiwan. In M. A. Rubinstein (Ed.), The other Taiwan: 1945 to the present (pp. 99–113). M.E. Sharpe, Inc. Armonk, NYGoogle Scholar
  9. Esherick, J. (1994). Acting out democracy: Political theater in modern China. In J. N. Wasserstrom (Ed.), Popular protest and political culture in modern China (2nd ed., pp. 32–70). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  10. Funabashi, H. (2010). The duality of social systems and the environmental movement in Japan. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 37–61). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  11. Gerald, C. (1997). Taiwan as an emerging foreign aid donor: Developments, problems, and prospects. Pacific Affairs, 70(1), 37–56. JSTOR. Web.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gilgun, J. F. (2004). “Deductive qualitative analysis and family theory building.” In Sourcebook of family theory and research (pp. 83–90). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Han, H. G. (2009). History of the Republic of Korea (Vol. 1). Seoul, Korea: HanGyuRe Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hao, Z. (1997). May 4th and June 4th compared: A sociological study of Chinese social movements. Journal of Contemporary China, 6(14), 79–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hasegawa, K., & Broadbent, J. (2010). Introduction to Japanese society, culture, and politics. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), Introduction. East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 31–35). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  16. Ho, M.-S., & Broadbent, J. (2010). Introduction to Taiwanese society, culture, and politics. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), Introduction. East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 231–35). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  17. Hong, S. (n.d.). The 3.15 presidential elections and the 4.19 revolution. Retrieved from
  18. Hsiao, H.-H. M. (2010). Social movements in Taiwan: A typological analysis. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 237–54). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  19. Hughes, C. R. (1997). Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism: National Identity and Status in International Society. London: Routledge. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jin, J. (2010). Institutionalized official hostility and protest leader logic: A long-term Chinese peasants collective protest at Dahe Dam in the 1980s. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 413–35). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar
  21. Kang, J. (2011). Colonial legacies and the struggle for social membership in a national community: The 1946 People’s uprisings in Korea. Journal of Historical Sociology, 24, 321–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kim, Y. (1997). Asian-style democracy: A critique from East Asia. Asian Survey, 37, 1119–1134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kim, B. (2003). Paramilitary politics under the USAMAGIK and the Establishment of the ROK. Korea Journal, 43, 289–322.Google Scholar
  24. Kim, S. (2004). South Korea: Confronting legacy and democratic contributions. In M. Alagappa (Ed.), Civil society and political change in Asia: Expanding and contracting democratic space (pp. 138–163). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kim, B. K. (April, 2009). The candlelight vigil in 2008 and the present Myung-bak Lee’s economic policy. Presented at the symposium of Where Korea is going 1 year after the candlelight vigil, Seoul, Korea.Google Scholar
  26. Kim, H. M., Lee, H. H., You, N. Cho, D. Y., Koo, B. S., Murata, A., et al. (2012). Views on national security in East Asia. In K. Malley-Morrison (Ed.), International handbook on war, torture, and terrorism ( chapter 20). New York: Springer.
  27. Kim, H. H., Moon, J. Y., & Yang, S. (2004). Broadband penetration and participatory politics: South Korea case. Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Big Island, Hawaii.Google Scholar
  28. Leckie, R. (1962). “Conflict: The history of the Korean war 1950–1953”. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 62–10975. Page 34.Google Scholar
  29. Lee, A. (1997). Exploration of the sources of student activism: The case of South Korea. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 9, 48–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee, W. B. (2011). Influence of ‘the candlelight protest in 2008’: Citizen’s fight-back with paper-stones in response to government’s centrist pragmatism for appeasing the popular demands. Academy of Korean Studies, 34, 63–98.Google Scholar
  31. Malley-Morrison, K., Daskalopoulos, M., & You, H. S. (2006). International perspectives on governmental aggression. International Psychology Reporter, 10(1), 19–20.Google Scholar
  32. Milakovich, M. E. (2010). The internet and increased citizen participation in government. E-journal of E-democracy & Open Government, 2. Retrieved from
  33. O’’Brien, K. J. (2008). Popular protest in China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.Google Scholar
  34. O’Dwyer, S. (2003). Democracy and confucian values. Philosophy East and West, 53, 39–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Park, B. (1993). An aspect of political socialization of student movement participants in Korea. Youth and Society, 25, 171–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Park, C., & Shin, D. C. (2006). Do Asian values deter popular support for democracy in South Korea? Asian Survey, 46, 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Perry, E. J., & Selden, M. (2000). Chinese Society: Change, conflict, and resistance (1st ed.). London: Routledge. Print.Google Scholar
  38. Shin, G. (1995). Marxism, anti-Americanism, and democracy in South Korea: An example of nationalist intellectual ­discourse. In Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique, 3, 508–534.Google Scholar
  39. Shirk, S. L. (2007). China: Fragile superpower. Oxford: Oxford UP.Google Scholar
  40. Song, I. C. (2011). Mandate of heaven and confucian anthropology. Seoul, Korea: Shimsan Moonwha.Google Scholar
  41. Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Uemura, S., & Makoto, W. (2001). Organizing the spontaneous: Citizen protest in postwar Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i. Print.Google Scholar
  43. Wang, Z. (2008). Democratization in confucian East Asia: Citizen politics in China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Youngstown, NY: Cambria. Print.Google Scholar
  44. Zhao, D. (2010). State legitimacy and dynamics of the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing. In J. Broadbent & V. Brockman (Eds.), East Asian social movements: Power, protest, and change in a dynamic region (pp. 385–411). New York: Springer. Print.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hillary Mi-Sung Kim
    • 1
  • Matthew Schauer
    • 2
  • Alyssa Mendlein
    • 3
  • Alice Murata
    • 4
  • Michelle Murata
    • 5
  • Andrea Jones-Rooy
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Social Work, Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA
  2. 2.International Security and Conflict ResolutionSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Counselor EducationNortheastern Illinois UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  6. 6.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations