Coleman, P. T. (1997). Redefining ripeness: A social-psychological perspective. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 3(1).
Ripeness is a construct of tremendous importance to both conflict resolution theory and practice. The conceptualizations of this construct in the literature, however, have varied. This article presents a social-psychological model for conceptualizing ripeness that integrates these various perspectives by viewing them as interactive components of a multimodal system that is contained by both change and resistance forces in a state of “unripeness.” This model redefines ripeness at the individual level as a commitment to change the direction of the normative social processes of the relations toward deescalation. This lens offers a more specific, yet comprehensive understanding of the construct, as well as suggests avenues for intervention through the creation of ripeness. For illustration, the model is applied to an interpersonal example of conflict and its applicability to larger-system conflicts is discussed.