As a PhD in medieval Arabic philosophy, she is focusing on research of conflicts in Middle East.
Mostly working in the Middle East, her work is field-based and devoted to understanding the pathways to and motivations for conflict on an individual level – that is, asking why people fight. In this capacity Lydia has interviewed fighters on all sides of the conflict in Iraq (a recent article in the Nation on the experiences of interviewing imprisoned ISIS fighters is to be found here: http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners/). A book on ISIS, for a general audience, is in preparation.
She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, with affiliations at City University New York, the University of Cambridge and Artis International, and she edits the Cambridge Literary Review.