Satgin S. Hamrah

Satgin Hamrah – Boston University, International Relations

Satgin Hamrah is a graduate student in the Department of International Relations at Boston University. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Her research areas include energy security, energy policy, security studies and human security.

Peak Oil: A tragedy for the world’s vulnerable

Oil is a vital component of modern life, impacting all segments of society including the global economic system, socio-political structures, development needs and programs. Despite the world’s heavy dependence on this finite resource, it is widely believed that it will soon reach a point of maximum global production, called “peak oil”, when oil supply will no longer be able to satisfy world demand. Consequently, peak oil would create an energy shortage, translating into significantly higher oil prices. The ripple effect of higher oil prices will increase commodity prices, including the price of food. It is important to understand the obstacles associated with a decrease of oil supply and to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. This preparation should include not only discussions about economical ramifications of such a supply limitation, but also its social and humanitarian components. Even a brief examination of past supply constraints illustrates that even short-term restrictions in supply results in high oil prices and high food prices. The realities associated with access to food will be further exacerbated if and when supply constraints are a result of long-term restrictions. This will have a dramatic affect on the ability of many people to have access to food. This paper will analyze the supply demand relationship of oil, future energy shortages, the impact that such a shortage can have on food prices and its subsequent impact on developing countries. This paper will also present recommendations on how to decrease the negative impact of future energy shortages.

Women & the 2009 Iranian Presidential Elections

Iranian women entered the political process during the Constitutional Revolution, resulting in the attainment of literacy rights, right of assembly, and the right to write and publish articles. Overall, Iranian women have been outwardly fighting to be afforded equal rights in Iran’s chauvinistic society since this time period. Today, their persistence and perseverance has led to an increasingly stronger presence of women in all levels of society. This has translated into higher levels of organization and a multi-level approach to the women’s movement. The June 2009 elections served as a catalyst for the paradigm shift in Iran’s political culture. Contrary to previous elections, this election illustrated a new quality of women’s participation which facilitated a highly dynamic, multi-faceted and innovative involvement by women. This was fueled by over one hundred years of struggle for women’s rights. Moreover, their enhanced involvement is an extension of ten years of careful organization, strategic planning, self-confidence and a heightened sense of feminist agency. Consequently, women had a significant presence in all phases of the election in a more determined and informed manner than any time in the country’s past. As a result, women and the women’s movement played an active, influential and prominent role in each phase of the election, the post-election protests and the birth of the Green Movement. Today, it is women who through their movement stand as sources of inspiration and creators of democratic slogans. This paper discusses the role of women in all phases of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections and their impact on the Green Movement.