Among Bill Zartman’s many contributions to the literature of conflict management, his most prominent is the concept of “ripeness.” It argues that violent conflicts cannot be ended by negotiation unless they are “ripe for resolution”—meaning the contending parties perceive themselves in a painful deadlock from which the only plausible escape is negotiation. Among academics, the theory is, hardly, uncontroversial. Indeed, Zartman’s harshest critics deride it as “tautological”—an unfair charge, as he demonstrated in a 2,000 essay that helpfully clarified his argument.1