Hanlie Booysen

Dr Hanlie Booysen profile picture

Lecturer School of Social and Cultural Studies


Teaching in 2019


PhD (VUW), MA (Durham; University of Johannesburg)


Hanlie’s main research interest concerns the relationship between Islam and politics. Her PhD thesis explained the moderate platform of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB).

Currently, Hanlie is working on Qatar’s sponsorship of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in the context of the Syrian uprising. Of interest is Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s different interpretations of Wahhabi Islam, and the influence thereof on the two countries’ respective foreign policies.

Hanlie is also exploring the challenge that researchers have to determine if Islamists are “essentially” democratic rather than autocratic. This project is of interest to scholarship on the secularization of political Islam, Islamic militants, and democratization in the Middle East.

Hanlie’s research interest in the Arab Middle East has been served well by her former career as a diplomat to Jordan (1993-1997), Chargé d'affaires to Palestine (2000 – 2004), and Deputy Head of Mission to Syria (2009 – 2012).

Recent Publications

Booysen, H. (2018). “The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood: Surviving the Syrian Uprising.” In New Opposition in the Middle East, edited by Conduit, Dara and Shahram Akbarzadeh. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Conference, Seminar, and Workshop Papers

2018:‘Moderate Islamists: Ideology versus Political Environment’, NZPSA Conference (Wellington, New Zealand).

2018. ‘Qatar’s Calculated Gamble on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’, Religious Studies Seminar Series (Wellington, New Zealand), and the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (Melbourne, Australia).

2017:‘Surviving the Syrian uprising: The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’, the Alfred  Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (Melbourne, Australia).

2017. ‘Are Islamists Rational Political Actors? Case study IS/ISIS’, the Antipodean East European Study Group workshop (Wellington, New Zealand).

2016:‘Moderation in Exclusion – The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’, the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (Melbourne, Australia).

2015:‘The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood: Moderation in Islamic Governance’, the Centre for Syrian Studies (CSS), (St Andrews, Scotland).

Public Engagement

Booysen, H. (2019). Why New Zealand needs to translate its response to Christchurch attacks into foreign policy, The Conversation, April 26

Booysen, H. (2018). Competing foreign interests trump Syrian aspirations for political change, The Conversation, May 14

Booysen, H. (2017). “The Best Kept Little Secret – A Posting in the Middle East”, published in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s electronic magazine.

Booysen, H. (2016). Presentation on the Syrian Crisis, Wellington North Rotary Club.

Booysen, H. (2013). Presentation on the Undoing of the Sykes-Picot Understanding, Masterton Rotary Club.


Teaching in 2019