Topol Peace Data Initiative

The Topol Peace Data Initiative is a project based at the Center for Peace, Democracy & Development at UMASS Boston, funded by individual donor Sidney Topol. This initiative aims to gain insights into the process of 'scaling up' the work of grassroots peace building endeavors nonviolent movements for social change. Based on an extensive analysis of existing literature in the social movement, organizations, development, and peace-building fields, we have a developed a conceptual model of 'scaling up' and are currently engaged in empirical research to highlight the tools movements use to broaden the impact of their work through a focus on cases in Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland, and the United States.


  • Burnett, C. & K. Ross. (2020). “Scaling Up Nonviolent Action: Do Scholars and Activists Agree?” Interface: A Journal for and About Social Movements 12(1): 559-590.
  • Ross, K., C. Burnett, Y. Raschupkina & D. Kew. (2019). “Scaling Up Peacebuilding and Social Justice Work: A Conceptual Model.” Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Research 44(4): 497-526.
  • Ross, K. (2019). “Navigating ‘Red Lines’ and Transcending the Binary: Tensions in the Pedagogical and Political Goals of Peace Education work.” Peace & Conflict Studies 26(2): Article 2.
  • Mundt, M., K. Ross & C.Burnett. (2018). “Scaling Social Movements through Social Media: The Case of Black Lives Matter.”Social Media & Society 4(4).

Other media:

  • Ross, K. & M. Mundt. (2019, March). “What Black Lives Matter Activists Can Teach us About the Pitfalls and Potential of Digital Organizing.” Waging Nonviolence blog.