Lianne Vostermans is educated within multiple disciplines and in a variety of places. She has fostered a comprehensive and critical insight into religious social movements. At the University of Cambridge she researched the social psychological and cognitive neurological underpinnings of religious extremism, breaking into a new field of study. At Durham University Lianne embedded this knowledge into larger socio-political and historical narratives. Combining these mutually constitutive angles, her PhD is aimed at critically assessing the relationship between belief structures and the collective move towards violence. Much of her research has been focussed on the Middle East, looking at both Christian and Islamic militant organisations. Recently she has widened the scope to incorporate secular movements, including socialist and communist currents. Over the past few years, she has spent a considerable amount of time in the Levantine region, making an effort to understand her research topic from within.