Frank Dukes


This essay begins with an examination of the importance of conflict transformation. The failings of an ideology of management currently dominating the conflict resolution field are contrasted with components of a transformative practice. I then offer three cases from my own experience and draw lessons from them to illustrate the potential of conflict resolution in three distinct areas: fostering community, building a responsive governance, and resolving public conflict. The examples are the following:

  • A school redistricting dispute, where a return to the sense of common purpose and community was the primary goal of the convenors;
  • A tri-jurisdiction community visioning process, illustrating ways of strengthening the nexus between citizenry and government;
  • The Virginia Mental Health Insurance Parity process, where mediation helped end continuing legislative stalemate and address key health and economic issues.

Author Bio(s)

Frank Dukes is Associate Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation and teaches in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia.


capacity building, conflict transformation, democratic and community renewal, dispute resolution, ideology of management, Jim Laue

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.