Conner and Jordan discuss three implications of the foregoing analysis for leaders, peacemakers, and scholars interested in apology as an instrument to advance justice, prevent destructive conflict, and promote cooperation. First, an effective apology is likely to occur only after other changes have "softened up" negative attitudes between the groups--referred to here as "ripeness." Second, even with a degree of ripeness, apology is unlikely without a "window of opportunity," a confluence of circumstances that permits the leader to limit the scope of the apology so as not to concede too much. Third, even if these conditions are satisfied, words alone are not enough for an apology to be effective.
Roger Conner and Patricia Jordan,
Never Being Able to Say You’re Sorry: Barriers to Apology By Leaders in Group Conflicts,
72 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol72/iss2/20