The purpose of this study is to examine the determinants of citizens’ participation in the Candlelight Protests that took place in Korea in 2016–2017. These protests were unprecedented in terms of their non-violent nature, their political consequences, the number of participants, and the breadth of the participants’ socioeconomic and political backgrounds. Employing a two-step empirical strategy that involved logit analysis and structural equation modeling, this study attempted to determine the significant causal paths to citizen intentions to participate in the protests. The empirical findings of this study also indicate that intention to join the protests was based on a multi-layered structure. The empirical analysis confirmed that injustice, identity, efficacy, and anger significantly influenced citizen intentions to participate in the candlelight protests. The study argues that in examining why unaffiliated citizens joined the protests, the existing literature has tended to pay disproportionate attention to narrow economic interests. The Korean Candlelight Protests elucidate the significance of political solidarity based on the participants’ faith in democracy.
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