On the basis of conceptualizing militant action as non-normative political participation, the group-based model of appraisal and emotions (GAE) depicts a pathway that explains public support for militant protest as the outcome of group-based subjective situational assessment and consequent emotional feelings. With data from two samples (one identified with militant protesters and the other with moderate protesters) in the anti-ELAB movement, we validated two classical pathways in the GAE among Hong Kong residents. Among people identifying with militant protesters, perceiving excessive police action and collective efficacy with militant protesters were significantly associated with support for militant protest via contempt rather than anger. Among people identifying with moderate protesters, perceiving excessive police action and collective efficacy with moderate protesters were significantly associated with support for moderate protest via anger rather than contempt. In addition, we extended the GAE by validating a new pathway that those identifying with moderate protesters would also support militant protest when they felt contempt. The findings indicate that the association between emotion and attitude toward collective action is not fully based on group identification. Our findings unpacked public support for militant protest into support from people identifying with militant protesters and support from those identifying with moderate protesters. The results of this research indicate that the solidarity between militant and moderate protesters in the anti-ELAB movement was not only a tactical cooperation but also a common emotional response (contempt). Our findings propose political communication as a potentially effective manner to deradicalize public attitudes, the core of which should be to mitigate people’s contempt.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by grants from Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office Public Policy Research (PPR) Funding Scheme (Special Round), Hong Kong SAR (Project Number SR2020.A5.028, Principle Investigator: Professor Kee Lee Chou).
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Collective group efficacy
- Excessive police action
- Group identification
- Support for violence