Is Timing Everything? Forecasting the Ripest Moment for Peace
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This research paper analyzes an under researched element of peace processes: the timing of negotiations. The timing of peace negotiations focuses on “the ripest moment,” applying ripeness and readiness theories, which are included in this paper. However, as those theories are mainly useful in hindsight, this paper goes further to incorporate Stedman’s theory of spoilers to develop this study on the timing of negotiations. The components of readiness, motivation and optimism, combined with addressing spoilers in this paper offers a different approach to analyzing the timing of negotiations. Through four cases study of the peace processes in Uganda in 1988, Sierra Leone in 1999, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009 and South Sudan in 2015, this paper finds that the convergence of motivation, optimism and addressing spoilers is important to successful negotiations. If negotiations are timed for moments where those three components do not converge, it is unlikely they will be successful.