African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 371

Full Length Research Paper

Ripe without warning: Israel and Egypt 1967-1973

Brian Christopher Nethery Kelly
Social Research Center, American University in Cairo, 11511 Cairo, Egypt
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 October 2007
  •  Published: 30 January 2008


Ripeness is a situation in which conflicting parties are prepared for peacemaking. Ripeness theory, as applied to international relations, however, tends to be tautological. For Israel and Egypt, the early 1970s were a turbulent period of international relations. The decisions of these two nations, specifically the decisions to go to war, were unexpected and unexplainable given current models of rational choice. Using recently unclassified State Department manuscripts documenting telegram and telephone conversations between US government officials and those of Israel and Egypt, a more accurate explanatory model for decision making is considered. Combining international norm and prospect theory models create a framing device that can better explain the reference point from which decisions were made by the Egyptian and Israeli states during the early 1970s. A better understanding of these decision making processes could potentially lead to an improved method of predicting and recognizing situations of ripeness in international relations.


Key words: Decision-making, ripeness theory, prospect theory, October war, Ramadan war, orientalism, deterrence.