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Caldecott Connections to Language Arts. Reference Guide to World Literature. Recommend Documents. Your name. Ripeness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the initiation of negotiations, bilateral or mediated. Even before turning to a detailed examination of the meaning and dynamics of ripeness, it is important to understand its strength and its limitations. Ripeness is only a condition: it is not self-fulfilling or self-implementing. It must be seized, either directly by the parties or, if not, through the persuasion of a mediator.
Not all ripe moments are so seized and turned into negotiations, hence the importance of specifying the meaning and evidence of ripeness so as to indicate when conflicting or third parties can fruitfully initiate negotiations. Yet it is the outset that is the subject of the theory. Indeed, a sense of ripeness may be required to turn negotiations for side effects Ikle, into negotiations to resolve conflict. In any case, unless the moment is ripe, as defined below, the search for an agreed outcome cannot begin.
It therefore follows that ripeness is not identical to its results, which are not part of its definition, and is therefore not tautological. It has its own identifying characteristics that can be found through research independent of the possible subsequent resolution or of efforts toward it. It is predictive, however, in identifying the elements necessary even if not sufficient for the productive inauguration of negotiations.
This type of analytical prediction is the best that can be obtained in social science, where stronger predictions could only be ventured by eliminating free choice including the human possibility of blindness and mistakes. As such it is of great prescriptive value to policy makers seeking to know when and how to begin a peace process—and that is no small beer. The idea behind the concept is that, when the parties find themselves locked in a conflict from which they cannot escalate to victory and this deadlock is painful to both of them although not necessarily in equal degrees or for the same reasons , they seek a way out.
The catastrophe provides a deadline or a lesson indicating that pain can be sharply increased if something is not done about it now; catastrophe is a useful extension of the notion of an MHS but is not necessary to either its definition or its existence. In different images the stalemate has been termed the plateau, a flat and unending terrain without relief, and the catastrophe the precipice, the point where things suddenly and predictably get worse. If the notion of mutual blockage is too static to be realistic, the concept may be stated dynamically as a moment when the upper hand slips and the lower hand rises, both parties moving toward equality, with both movements carrying pain for the parties.
The other element necessary for a ripe moment is less complex and controversial: the perception of a way out. Parties do not have to be able to identify a specific solution, only a sense that a negotiated solution is possible for the searching and that the other party shares that sense and the willingness to search too. Without the sense of a way out, the push associated with the MHS would leave the parties with nowhere to go. These elements can be combined in a definitional proposition: Proposition 2 Definitional : If the two parties to a conflict a perceive themselves to be in a hurting stalemate and b perceive the possibility of a negotiated solution.
The basic reasoning underlying the MHS lies in cost-benefit analysis, based on the assumption that, when parties to a conflict find themselves on a pain-producing path, they prepare to look for an alternative that is more advantageous.
This calculation is fully consistent with public choice notions of rationality Sen, ; Arrow, ; Olson, and public choice studies of negotiation Brams, , ; Brams and Taylor, , which assume that a party will pick the alternative it prefers and that a decision to change is induced by means of increasing pain associated with the present conflictual course.
It is also consistent with prospect theory, currently in focus in international relations, which indicates that people tend to be more risk averse concerning gains than losses of equal magnitude and therefore that sunk costs or investments in conflict escalation tend to push parties into costly deadlocks or MHSs Kahneman and Tversky, ; Bazerman et al.
The ripe moment is necessarily a perceptual event, not one that stands alone in objective reality; it can be created if outside parties can cultivate the perception of a painful present versus a preferable alternative and therefore can be resisted so long as the party in question refuses or is otherwise able to block out that perception. As with any other subjective perception, there are likely to be objective referents or bases to be perceived. These can be highlighted by a mediator or an opposing party when they are not immediately recognized by the parties themselves, but it is the perception of the objective condition, not the condition itself, that makes for an MHS.
The relationship between objective and subjective components can be summarized in a proposition: Proposition 3: An MHS contains objective and subjective elements, of which only the latter are necessary and sufficient to its existence. The first three propositions can be combined into a model expressing a theory of ripeness in which ripeness is located as both a dependent and an independent variable see Figure 6.
Since an MHS is a subjective matter, it can be perceived at any point in the conflict, early or late. Nothing in the definition of an MHS requires it to take place at the height of the conflict or at a high level of violence. The internal and unmediated negotiations in South Africa between and stand out as a striking case of negotiations opened and pursued on the basis of an MHS perceived by both sides on the basis of impending catastrophe, not of present casualties Ohlson and Stedman, ; Sisk, ; Zartman, b; Lieberfield, a, b. However, the greater the objective evidence, the greater the subjective perception of a stalemate and its pain is likely to be, and this evidence is more likely to come late, when all other courses of action and possibilities of escalation have been exhausted.
In notable cases a long period of conflict is required. While the optimum situation would arguably be the first, where the parties to a conflict perceive ripeness before much escalation and loss of life have occurred, there is as yet little evidence—but a lot of methodological problems—in this regard, and such wisdom would still leave unanswered the question of how the importance of an issue would be established. As the notion of ripeness implies, an MHS can be a very fleeting opportunity, a moment to be seized lest it pass, or it can be of a long duration, waiting to be noticed and acted on by mediators.
In the citations below the moment was brief in Bosnia but longer in Angola. In fact, failure to seize the moment often hastens its passing, as parties lose faith in the possibility of a negotiated way out or regain hope in the possibility of unilateral escalation. By the same token, the possibility of long duration often dulls the urgency of rapid seizure. Behind the duration of the ripe moment itself is the process of producing it through escalation and decision.
The other component of a ripe moment—a perception by both parties of a way out—is less difficult to identify. Leaders often indicate whether they do or do not feel that a deal can be made with the other side, particularly when there is a change in that judgment. The sense that the other party is ready and willing to repay concessions with concessions is termed requitement Zartman and Aurik, This element is also necessary but, alone, insufficient since, without a sense of the possibility of a negotiated exit from an MHS, fruitful negotiations cannot take off.
Conversely, cases abound in which the absence of this component prevented otherwise promising beginnings to a negotiation. Research and intelligence on ripeness are needed to ascertain whether its defining components exist at any time and whether it is or can be seized by the parties or mediator s in order to begin negotiations. Thereafter, further research questions are needed to find out whether that moment can be prolonged or whether its favorable predispositions can be transferred to the process of negotiation itself Mooradian and Druckman, Researchers would look for evidence, for example, whether the rapidly shifting military balance in the Burundian civil war has given rise to a perception of an MHS by the parties, as well as a sense by authoritative spokesmen for each side that the other is ready to seek a solution to the conflict, or, to the contrary, whether it has reinforced the conclusion that any mediation is bound to fail because one or both parties believes in the possibility or necessity of escalating out of the current impasse to achieve a decisive military victory.
Research and intelligence would be required to learn why Bosnia in the war-torn summer of was not ripe for a negotiated settlement and mediation would fail and why it was ripe in November and mediation could use that condition to achieve agreement Touval, ; Goodby, Similarly, research would indicate that there was no chance of mediating a settlement in the Ethiopia-Eritrean conflict in the early s and early s, or in the Southern Sudan conflict in the early s, the skills of President Carter notwithstanding, because the components of ripeness were not present Ottaway, ; Deng, While ripeness has not always been used to open negotiations, there have been occasions when it has come into play, as identified by both analysts and practitioners.
In general, these studies have found the concept applicable and useful as an explanation for the successful initiation of negotiations or their failure, while in some cases proposing refinements to the concept. Other diplomatic memoirs have specifically referred to the idea by its MHS component. Chester Crocker, U. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa between and , patiently mediated an agreement between Angola and South Africa for the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola and of South African troops from Namibia, then to become independent.
For years an MHS, and hence an agreement, eluded the parties. Bloody confrontations in southeastern Angola beginning in November and in southwestern Angola in May ended in a draw. The Techipa-Calueque clashes in southwestern Angola confirmed a precarious military stalemate. That stalemate was both the reflection and the cause of underlying political decisions.
By early May, my colleagues and I convened representatives of Angola, Cuba, and South Africa in London for face-to-face, tripartite talks. The American mediation involved building diplomatic moves that paralleled the growing awareness of the parties, observed by the mediator, of the hurting stalemate in which they found themselves.
The silver lining was that it was, almost literally, a defining moment— the point at which it became possible to seriously envisage a negotiation. The FMLN had been reviewing their long-term prospects and strategy since , adjusting their sights in the process. They were coming to the view that time was not entirely on their side…. The offensive also showed the rightist elements in government, and elites in general, that the armed forces could not defend them, let alone crush the insurgents…. However inchoate at first, the elements of a military deadlock began to appear.
Neither side could defeat the other. As the dust settled, the notion that the conflict could not be solved by military means, and that its persistence was causing pain that could no longer be endured, began to take shape. The offensive codified the existence of a mutually hurting stalemate. The conflict was ripe for a negotiated solution, de Soto, It therefore behooves the Secretary-General to be selective and to recommend action only in situations where he judges that the investment of scarce resources is likely to produce a good return in terms of preventing, managing and resolving conflict.
We felt this equilibrium had arrived, or was about to, on the battlefield [in October ]. As a State Depart-. The Serbs are on the run a bit. Many other statements by practitioners could be cited. In brief, alert practitioners do not seem to have difficulty identifying the existence or importance of an MHS for the opening of negotiations, although not all practitioners are so alert. The notion of ripeness is a simple idea that has been born out in a number of studies but that has also been subject to frequent, sometimes curious, misunderstandings.
Many of these should be able to be eliminated by careful attention to the concept, while others have suggested further study and refinement. What kinds of internal political conditions are helpful both for perceiving ripeness and for turning that perception into the initiation of promising negotiations? A careful case study by Stedman of the Rhodesian negotiations for independence as Zimbabwe takes the concept beyond a single perception into the complexities of internal dynamics. Stedman specifies that some but not all parties must perceive a hurting stalemate, that patrons rather than parties may be the agents of perception, that the military element in each party is the crucial element in perceiving the stalemate, and that the way out is as important an ingredient as the stalemate in that all parties may well see victory in the alternative outcome prepared by negotiation although some parties will be proven wrong in that perception.
Stedman also highlights the potential of leadership change for the subjective perception of an MHS where it had not been seen previously in the same objective circumstances and of the threat of domestic rivals to incumbent leadership, rather than threats from the enemy, as the source of impending catastrophe, points also applied by Lieberfield a, b in his more recent comparison of the Middle East and South Africa.
The original formulation of the theory added a third element to the definition of ripeness—the presence of a valid spokesman for each side; it has been dropped in the current reformulation because as a structural element it is of a different order than the other two defining perceptual elements. Nonetheless, it remains of second-level importance, as Stedman and Lieberfield point out. The discussion of leadership conditions for ripeness to be perceived and used illustrates not only a fruitful area for further research but also the way in which the basic concept can give rise to ancillary questions of importance that build on the original theory.
Other studies have used and discussed the notion of ripeness in a search for alternatives and restatements, although the result has generally been a reaffirmation of the concept. Kriesberg and Thorson , particularly in the chapters by Hurwitz and Rubin, emphasize the elusiveness and perceptional quality of the concept and its possible misuse as an excuse for inaction. Haass restates the components of ripeness as time pressure, appropriate power relations, acceptable formula way out , and acceptable process, emphasizing in the rest of his work the elusiveness of the moment and the need to prepare or position for it in its absence.
The latter discussion of alternative policies in the absence of ripeness is a useful extension, although in the attempt to restate the concept, it loses its precision and its distinction from resolution. Kleiboer proposes instead the notion of willingness, which in fact repeats the perceptional aspect of ripeness without the causal component of the MHS. There have been a number of attempts to reformulate the concept of ripeness. Indeed, the stalemate is to be found on the level of legitimacy in this reformulation in addition to the more dynamically evolving stalemate on the level of power.
More testing is needed of this additional element. From the perception of a third party, if small external. Firm indicators for metastability remain to be developed. In identifying the sources of the first, which he terms motivational ripeness presumably as opposed to objective referents to ripeness , he adds the positive factor of mutual dependence in achieving the goal to the negative elements already contained in the MHS unattainable victory, unacceptable costs in escalation.
The need for—presumably perceived—mutual dependence as an element in ripeness has not been tested beyond the initial proposal and could be done so fruitfully. Skill and resources, including identity, interests, and strategies, are necessary components without which the parties are unlikely to be able to seize the ripe moment. Additional studies Crocker et al.
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Such discussions miss some of the original points and emphasize others in an effort to better grasp the essence of ripeness theory. The value of these efforts is highlighted by the question: Are they formulating a different concept, adding new terms or precision to the old original concept, or expressing the concept itself in different terms? For the most part it would seem that the emendations have either helped refine aspects of the concept or expressed the same thing differently, rather than offering an alternative concept or theory.
Some of the commentary on ripeness theory raises the relationship between parsimony in theory building and complexity in human action. This is a problem that dogs any attempt at social science theorizing and, carried to its extreme, is merely a matter of two different levels of discourse and analysis that can never meet. However, the present formulation of ripeness theory has sought to leave room for other undeniably.
Other elements do play a role, often of varying importance. One has been identified from the outset: the substantive search for a formula for agreement between the parties.
Another of particular importance is the authoritative structure of each side, most notably the presence of a valid spokesman who can represent a party and deliver its concurrence and compliance as negotiations proceed. Others could be added, and the effort to advance a clear and unambiguous theory, which is necessary to testing and application, in no way eliminates such facilitating variables. There are other intriguing problems raised by ripeness theory.
One complication with the notion of a hurting stalemate arises when increased pain increases resistance rather than reducing it. Thus, under some conditions, an MHS does not create an opening for negotiation but makes it more difficult it must be remembered that, while ripeness is a necessary precondition for negotiation, not all ripeness leads to negotiation.
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The reinforcing reaction to hurt in a stalemate can be tied to four different levels of situations or contexts. Nonetheless, since the ripe moment is tied to perception, nothing indicates when and how the switch from breaking-out perceptions to giving-in perceptions will occur.
In other words, while the theory indicates that an MHS is a necessary and identifiable element, nothing other than tautological definitions indicates when it will occur. Second, while escalations are commonly taken to refer only to the means of conducting a conflict, they also refer to other aspects of conflict behavior, including ends and agents Rubin et al. The latter is particularly relevant. Pressure on a party in conflict often leads to the psychological reaction of worsening the image of the opponent, a natural tendency that is often decried as lessening the chances of reconciliation but that has the functional feature of justifying resistance.
Thus, the conditions that are designed to produce the ripe moment tend to produce its opposite, as a natural reaction.
Third, particular types of adversaries are especially prone to reinforcing behavior. Parties thinking as true believers are unlikely to be led to compromise by increased pain; instead, pain is likely to justify renewed struggle Hoffer, Justified struggles call for greater sacrifices, which absorb increased pain. The cycle is functional and self-protecting. The first party increases its resistance as pressure and pain increase, so that pain strengthens determination. To this type of reaction it is the release of pain or an admission of pain on the other side that justifies relaxation; when the opponent admits the error of its ways, the true believer can claim the vindication of its efforts, which permits a management of the conflict Moses, The fourth level anchors the true believer in a particular culture.
There are no independent nontautological characteristics available to identify cultures hospitable to true believers, and since the behavioral type and the general culture tend to coexist rather than one preceding the other, the predictive possibilities are slim. True-believer cultures are those hospitable to high commitment, either in escatalogical or ideological terms, where there are additional external rewards to hanging tough and where higher goals or values are thereby enhanced.
In the current era, cases of resistant reactions to hurting stalemates come particularly from the Middle East, from Iran during the hostage negotiations Moses, to Iraq during the second Gulf War. In the hostage negotiations the established wisdom is that negotiations were not possible as long as holding the hostages was worth more to Iran than releasing them and therefore not until the parliamentary election of Christopher et al. However, new research and interpretations also show that negotiations were not possible as long as the United States was seen as exerting pressure on Iran, since pressure was seen as the opposite of contrition and an arrangement was not possible as long as the United States had not learned the lesson of its evil ways and turned from them.
Thus, while the United States was operating under the logic of the hurting stalemate, Iran was following the logic of the justifying pain. In the second Gulf War, even though neither side was interested in negotiation, the same class of logic obtained. The United States thought that increasing pressure and threat of catastrophe would bring Iraq to heel, but the higher the pressure the more justification it provided to Iraq to raise its threshold of resistance. If there were any chance of negotiation in the conflict, it was earlier rather than later Jentleson, ; each turn.
The very act of holding out against mounting pressure from the Great Satan was a religious and nationalistic act of heroism, itself worthy of being called a victory: lying down on the railroad tracks before the oncoming locomotive was a glorious gesture, highly meritorious in itself regardless of the consequences. It showed not only the high ideals and selflessness of the defender but also the inhumanity and ruthlessness of the opponent. Hurting stalemates in such cultures are meaningless, since breaking down and agreeing to negotiate are a denial of the very ideals that inspired the resistance in the first place.
Of course, it takes two to make a mutually hurting stalemate, and American lack of interest in negotiation at any time can raise questions about the cultural approach. In sum, there is a resistant reaction, which, whether stemming from perseverance, agent escalation, true belief, or ideological cultures, means that the mechanism of the hurting stalemate in certain conditions may be its own undoing. The more an MHS is sought, the more it may be resisted as a sign of a conflict unripe for resolution.
Identifying the phenonenon is not always simple.
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Since part of the resistant reaction phenomenon is a normal response to pressure and since the hurting stalemate is a perceptual event, initial resistance is to be expected. A true-believer reaction and an ideological culture can generally be identified by their context and language. Probably most difficult to sort out is the agent escalation, since its very nature is to escalate to vilifying generalizations the reasons for opposing the adversary.
The remedy is less clear and certainly less straightforward. One could hardly advise: in cost-benefit cultures, create a hurting stalemate as a ripe moment; in true-believer cultures, exhibit contrition as a ripe moment. That is, however, what happened in the Pueblo incident between the United States and North Korea, an incident cited more frequently as an aberration than a model.
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At the same time, Carter continually held out negotiations as an option and finally succeeded, whereas Bush continually ruled out negotiations as an option and he too succeeded, in his terms! The ultimate lesson is probably no more startling than the notion of a ripe moment itself: negotiations with true believers take longer to come about because ripe moments are harder to find.
But in the end, if time and patience are available, true believers or their followers must eat too, so that pain can be treated as a universal human feeling, with various antidotes and painkillers available to deaden or delay its effects. The other drawback about the notion of a hurting stalemate is its dependence on conflict. Odd and banal as that may sound, its implications are sobering.
It means, on the one hand, that preemptive conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy are unpromising, since ripeness is hard to achieve so far ahead. On the other hand, it means that to ripen a conflict one must raise the level of conflict until a stalemate is reached and then further until it begins to hurt—and even then work toward a perception of an impending catastrophe as well.
The ripe moment becomes the godchild of brinkmanship. At the same time, another limitation to the theory—seemingly unrelated to the above—is that it addresses only the opening of negotiations, as noted at the outset and often missed by the critics. Now that the theory of ripeness is available to explain the initiation of negotiation, people would like to see a theory that explains the successful conclusion of negotiations once opened. Can ripeness be extended in some way to cover the entire process, or does successful conclusion of negotiations require a different explanatory logic?
Practitioners and students of conflict management would like to think that there could be a more positive prelude to negotiation and can even point to a few cases of negotiations, mediated or direct, that opened or came to closure without the push of a mutually hurting stalemate but through the pull of an attractive outcome.
Although examples are rare, as explained by prospect theory, one case is the opening of the Madrid peace process on the Middle East in Baker and de Frank, ; another may be boundary disputes that are overcome by the prospects of mutual development in the region. But the mechanisms are still unclear in part because the cases are so few. As in other ripe moments these occasions provided an opportunity for improvement but from a tiring rather than a painful deadlock Mitchell, ; Zartman, a.
In some views the attraction lies in a possibility of winning paradoxically a shared perception more cheaply than by conflict or else a possibility of sharing power that did not exist before Mitchell, In other views, enticement comes in the form of a new ingredient, provided by a persistent mediator and more than simply an apparent way out, and that new ingredient is the chance for improved relations with the mediating third party Touval and Zartman, ; Saunders, Such openings might be termed mutually enticing opportunities MEOs , admittedly a title not as catchy as MHS and a concept not as well researched or practiced.
Few examples have been found in reality. But an MEO is important in the broader negotiation process and has its place in extending ripeness theory. As indicated, ripeness theory refers to the decision to negotiate; it does not guarantee any results. At most it can be extended into the negotiations themselves by indicating that the perception of ripeness must continue during negotiations if the parties are not to reevaluate their positions and drop out, in the revived hopes of being able to find a unilateral solution through escalation.
But negotiations completed under the shadow—or the push—of an MHS alone are likely to be unstable and unlikely to lead to a more enduring settlement. A negative shadow can begin the process but cannot provide for the change of mentalities to reconciliation. While an MHS is the necessary and insufficient condition for negotiations to begin, during the process the negotiators must provide the prospects for a more attractive future to pull them out of their conflict. The push factor has to be replaced by a pull factor, in the terms of a formula for settlement and prospects of reconciliation that the negotiating parties design during negotiations see Figure 6.
Here the substantive aspect of negotiation in analysis and practice pulls ahead of the procedural approach: the way out takes over from the hurting stalemate. The seeds of the pull factor begin with the way out that the parties vaguely perceive as part of the initial ripeness, but this general sense of possibility needs to be developed and fleshed out to be the vehicle for an agreement. When an MEO is not developed in the negotiations, the negotiations remain trun. At this point the substantive literature on negotiation referred to at the beginning finds its place, which can be shown in a proposition: Proposition 6: The perception of a mutually enticing opportunity is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the continuation of negotiations to the successful conclusion of a conflict.
Rather, it helps us to identify obstacles and suggests ways of handling them and managing the problem until resolution becomes possible. Thus, two policies are indicated when the moment is not ripe: positioning and ripening. Strategies of positioning and ripening are adjuncts to ripeness theory, but they are very important to the practitioner. As such they are not theoretically tight but rather suggestive. To begin with, Crocker ; see also Haass, , and Goulding, lists a number of important insights for positioning:.
Keep new ideas loose and flexible and avoid getting bogged down early in details. Establish an acceptable mechanism for negotiation and an appropriate format for registering an agreement. Other strategies include preliminary explorations of items identified with prenegotiations Stein, :. Identify the issues to be resolved, and separate out issues that are not resolvable in the conflict. Ripening can also be the subject of creative diplomacy.
riawichoser.tk Since the theory Proposition 3 indicates that ripeness results from objective indicators plus persuasion, these are the two elements that need attention in ripening. If some objective elements are present, persuasion is the obvious diplomatic element, serving to bring out the perception of both a stalemate and pain.