Using the first, second, and sixth waves of the World Values Surveys, this article examines the extent to which the mass public's values have changed and/or persisted and their impact on political orientations, measured by protest potential and leftist ideology, in Korea. We find that the emergence of an authoritarian-libertarian value cleavage has played an important, if not vital, role in shifting mass political attitudes and in enhancing the propensity to engage in political action from the authoritarian rule, to the democratic transition, and to the period of democratic consolidation. We also empirically uncover our authoritarian-libertarian value scale is related to increasing levels of leftist reform-oriented attitudes, whereas age has become less important to Koreans in defining their orientations to political protest, especially during the period of democratic consolidation.
- authoritarian-libertarian value cleavage
- leftist ideology
- political protest
- value change