Whither Ripeness Theory?

Dean G. Pruitt
Content Type
Working Paper
Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University
Ripeness theory, in its most common version, concerns the psychological states that encourage parties who are involved in severe conflict to move into negotiation—either bilateral or mediated. This monograph first summarizes ripeness theory as it stands today, while drawing on the writings of I. William Zartman, the founder of this field, and several other international relations scholars. Then it presents a critique, which recasts this important theory in conventional psychological terms; uses the language of variables rather than necessary states; and focuses on the psychological states of individual actors rather than on joint psychological states.
Conflict Resolution, Development, Education, Peace Studies