From green to ripe: Dynamics of peacemaking in Colombia (1998-2016) Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2021

start page

  • 282

end page

  • 312


  • 3


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1043-4631

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7358


  • Armed conflict in Colombia with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) was only settled after 50 years and several attempts at negotiations. This sequence of events fits the pattern of conflict ripeness; first proposed by William Zartman. But using a successful settlement as a way to determine ripeness can be tautological. To address this issue, we develop a formal model to identify the level of ripeness at which a conflict is settled. In an overripe conflict both parties end up spending resources in a military build-up that is out of proportion with what they obtain in the final settlement. We show that such overripeness is exacerbated by the access to resources and by the factional heterogeneity within the two sides. We illustrate these dynamics by looking in detail at the attempts at negotiation between Colombias government and the FARC-EP. To that end, we combine statistical data, some previously undisclosed, and interviews with some key participants.


  • Sociology


  • colombian armed conflict; conflict ripeness moment; farc-ep; peacemaking