Research Articles

Template Revolutions: Marketing U.S. Regime Change in Eastern Europe



Between 2000 and 2005, Russia-allied governments in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and (not discussed in this paper) Kyrgyzstan were overthrown through bloodless upheavals. Though Western media generally portrayed these coups as spontaneous, indigenous and popular (‘people power’) uprisings, the ‘color revolutions’ were in fact outcomes of extensive planning and energy ─ much of which originated in the West. The United States, in particular, and its allies brought to bear upon post-communist states an impressive assortment of advisory pressures and financing mechanisms, as well as campaign technologies and techniques, in the service of ‘democracy assistance’. Their arsenals included exit and opinion polling, focus groups for ‘revolutionary messaging’, and methods and training in ‘strategic nonviolent conflict’. Among the key foreign agents involved in the process of creating ‘transitional democracies’, as discussed in this study, are the United States Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and its funded institutes, George Soros’s Open Society Institute, Freedom House, and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. These developments are conceived as aspects of the larger neoliberal program of opening the Eastern European region for commercial, strategic military, cultural, and political domination by the G-7 countries. Four types of foreign assistance studied are: (1) political; (2) financial; (3) technical training; and (4) marketing (propaganda).

Keywords: National Endowment for Democracy, Eastern Europe, democracy, U.S. foreign policy, propaganda

How to Cite: Krader, S. (2017) “Template Revolutions: Marketing U.S. Regime Change in Eastern Europe”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 5(3). doi: