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AUC alumnus Paul Verhagen (Class of 2015) has recently co-authored a book titled 'Het Amerikaanse presidentschap: Het machtigste ambt ter wereld' (The American presidency: the most powerful office in the world). Published by Omniboek, the book explains and discusses the office of the presidency of the United States, including capabilities, limitations, the governmental system of the US and how the president is elected. There will be a book presentation at Scheltema Boekhandel in Amsterdam on 30 January.

American Presidency Paul Verhagen
Paul Verhagen American Presidency

Explaining the American presidency

Co-authored with Frans Verhagen, the book offers an in-depth look not at the president him-/herself, but rather at the office of the presidency. The two authors ask and offer answers to questions such as how did the presidency come to be the way it is, how does it relate to the other branches of power in the US system of government, how is a president elected and what are the limitations and checks and balances in place in order to limit the power of the individual. The book addresses these questions by delving into various events in US history, including the debates of the founding fathers, the rancorous Democratic National Convention of 1968 resulting in the primary system, the political turmoil that has accompanied impeachment procedures, and concludes by looking forward to the 2020 presidential election.

Shared interest in American politics and history

The idea for the book arose as a collaboration between Frans and Paul. Frans Verhagen has written extensively about United States history and politics, including 16 books to date on various historical events, periods and analyses. Adding to Frans’ expertise, Paul is himself a US citizen, an active member of the Netherlands-based group Democrats Abroad and attended rallies for both presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the lead up to the 2016 presidential elections. This sparked a fascination to further investigate the history and current landscape of the US political system, the complicated convention party rules and to better comprehend the true powers of the office of the American presidency. Sharing this interest, their resulting work is meant to give readers a historically-sourced, yet factually practical guide to the office of the American president and the US democratic system.

More about the author

Paul Verhagen is currently working as a data scientist at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), translating the results of data analyses into concrete recommendations for clients, with a particular interest in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and the implementation of 5G technologies in relation to China. After graduating from AUC in 2015, Paul went on to complete a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Management at VU Amsterdam. Completing exchange programs in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Paul returned to the Netherlands for an internship at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs focusing on global cyber capacity before joining HCSS.

Book presentation on 30 January at Scheltema Boekhandel

Paul Verhagen will be hosting a book presentation on 30 January at Scheltema Boekhandel at Rokin 9 in Amsterdam. You can find more information (in Dutch) via the link below.