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Biography

Orion joined the Department of War Studies in 2019, as part of the Joint PhD programme between King’s College London (KCL) and the University of São Paulo (USP). His current research is on nuclear weapons and politics, particularly the symbolism behind nuclear weapons, and is being funded by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

Currently, he holds the positions of Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) to the Introduction to Development Studies module; Senior Editor of the Strife Journal; Student Representative to the International Studies Association’s Latin America and Caribbean Region (ISA-LAC); and KCL’s Social Sciences and Public Policy Events and Communication Representative. He is also a member of the Centre for Science and Security Studies at KCL, and of the International Relations Research Centre at USP.

He holds an MA (Hons) in International Security from the University of Groningen and a BA in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais.

Research interests

  • Nuclear Weapons and Politics
  • Non-proliferation and Disarmament
  • Arms Control
  • Symbolism, Status, and Prestige
  • Identity
  • International Security
  • International Politics
  • Theory of International Relations

Teachings

  • Introduction to Development Studies

PhD supervisors

Doctoral research

Orion's doctoral research, entitled “SYMBOLS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: The Bomb is What States Make of It”, seeks to explore the symbolic facet of nuclear weapons and the constraints it holds on nuclear politics and decision-making. In this effort, he rejects the orthodox Realist explanations to nuclear politics whilst arguing that intersubjective factors, such as status, prestige, and ideas of modernity play a key role in the puzzle of why States seek/desire/pursue/maintain nuclear weapons.

To this end, his research analyses the history of US nuclear strategy as a case study, highlighting the different symbolic perceptions nuclear weapons have had since the end of the Second World War. He further argues that these symbolic perceptions are constructed through discourse and are influenced not only by endogenous, but also exogenous factors. These nuclear symbolisms are internalised in US identity and constrain US leaders’ decision-making. This research, being mainly theoretical, aims to develop a theoretical model that explain States’ nuclear policies that encompasses both material and non-material factors, and with symbolism at its core.