This article examines the impact of values on a key phenomenon of modern politics: non-violent protest. Previous studies have examined only the individual-level effects of values. Studying in addition the ‘ecological’ effects – how the social prevalence of values affects protest – generates new insights. Focusing on ‘emancipative values’, two ecological effects are shown: (1) the prevalence of emancipative values lifts people's protest above the level that their own emancipative values suggest (elevator effect); (2) the prevalence of these values enhances the impact of people's own emancipative values on protest (amplifier effect). We conclude that examining values in models of protest (and possibly of other activities), not only as individual attributes but also as ecological properties, gives ‘culture’ its full weight in explaining behaviour.
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