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Majia Nadesan

Majia Nadesan

Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability


School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Arizona State University, West campus
PO Box 37100
Phoenix, AZ 85069-7100


  • Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability


Majia Nadesan is a professor of communication in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.  She received her Ph.D. in communication studies in 1993 from Purdue University after earning her B.S. and M.S. in the same subject from San Diego State University.  Prior to joining the faculty at ASU's College of Human Services in 1994, Dr. Nadesan was an assistant professor at Syracuse University.

Dr. Nadesan’s interdisciplinary research examines the ethical implications of societal governing logics and risk-management strategies. She examined how expert understandings of autism shape how people diagnosed with the disorder are understood and treated in her book Constructing Autism (Routledge, 2005). In Governmentality, Biopower and Everyday Life (2008, 2011, Routledge) she looked at how global economic logics and technological assemblages shape everyday life practices and opportunities for US citizens. In Governing Childhood she examined how these same economic logics and technological infrastructures impact children’s daily lives, creating vastly unequal childhoods (Palgrave, 2010). More recently, she has looked at how politics and scientific uncertainty complicate risk assessment in Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk (Palgrave, 2013) and Crisis Communication, Liberal Democracy and Ecological Sustainability: The Threat of Financial and Energy Complexes in the Twenty-First Century (Lexington, 2016).

At ASU's West campus, Dr. Nadesan teaches courses that look at economic and corporate communication, propaganda and social advocacy, and interpretive and critical methods.


  • PhD, Critical Approaches to Communication and Organizational Communication, Purdue University, 1993
  • MS, Communication Theory (Rhetorical and Political concentrations), San Diego State University, 1989
  • BS, Communication Theory (Political Science minor), San Diego State University, 1987




Ron, A. and M. Nadesan. 2020. Mapping Populism: Approaches and Methods. Routledge. ISBN: 9780367271442.


Nadesan, M. 2016. Crisis Communication, Liberal Democracy, and Ecological Sustainability: The Threat of Financial and Energy Complexes in the Twenty-First Century. Lexington Books. Lanham, MD. ISBN: 978-0739194959.


Nadesan, M., A. Boys, A. McKillop and R. Wlcox eds. 2014. Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization?. The Dispossesion Publishing Group. ISBN: 978-1-312-50456-1.


Nadesan, M. 2013. Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-1-137-34312-3.


Nadesan, M. H. 2011. Governmentality, Biopower, and Everyday Life. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415897969.


Nadesan, M. H. 2010. Governing Childhood into the 21st Century: Biopolitical Technologies of Childhood Management and Education. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN: 978-0230613218.


Nadesan, M. H. 2008. Governmentality, Biopower, and Everyday Life. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415958547.


Nadesan, M. H. 2005. Constructing Autism: Unravelling the “Truth” and Understanding the Social. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415321815.

Book Chapters


Nadesan, M. 2019. Autistic ontologies and the open genome. Pp. 43-62 In: Das, U. N., N. Papaneophytou and T. El-Kour eds., Autism 360°. Academic Press. ISBN: 9780128184660.

Nadesan, M. 2019. Governmentality: Genealogical analysis of modern logics of government. Sage Research Methods Cases. SAGE. DOI: 10.4135/9781526495525. ISBN: 9781526495525.


Nadesan, M. 2018. "Radiophobia" and the politics of social contagion. In: Fahs, B., A. Mann, E. Swank and S. Stage eds., Transforming Contagion: Risky Contacts among Bodies, Disciplines, and Nations. Rutgers University Press. ISBN: 9780813589596.

Nadesan, M. H. 2018. Catastrophe, transperancy, and social responsibility on online platforms: Contesting cold shutdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Pp. 291-302 In: Lindgreen, A., J. Vanhamme, F. Maon and R. Mardon eds., Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Era. Routledge. New York, NY. ISBN: 978-1472484161.

Nadesan, M. 2018. Radiation refugees and chronic low-dose exposures to ionizing radiation: The rights of the exposed. In: Klocke, B. V., R. Perrucci and J. Shefner eds., Justice 21, Global Projects 28. University of Bristol Policy Press. UK.


Nadesan, M. H. and G. Cheney. 2017. Workplace democracy. In: Scott, C. R. and L. Lewis eds., The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 9781118955567.


Nadesan, M. and M. Pasqualetti. 2016. Dispossession, justice, and a sustainable energy future. Pp. 585-619 In: Van de Graaf, T., B. K. Sovacool, A. Ghosh, F. Kern and M. T. Klare eds., The Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN: 978-1-137-55630-1.


Nadesan, M. 2014. Biopower. In: Teo, T. ed., Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. Springer. ISBN: 978-1-4614-5584-4.

Nadesan, M. 2014. From Hiroshima to Fukushima. Pp. 2-23 In: Nadesan, M., A. Boys, A. McKillop and R. Wilcox eds., ukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization. The Dispossesion Publishing Group.

Nadesan, M. 2014. Fukushima and dispossession: The end of liberal democracy in Japan?. Pp. 100-129 In: Nadesan, M., A. Boys, A. McKillop and R. Wilcox eds., Fukushima: Disposession or Denuclearization?. The Dispossession Publishing Group. ISBN: 978-1312498174.


Nadesan, M. H. 2013. Autism and genetics: Profit, risk, and bare life. Pp. 117-142 In: Davidson, J. and M. Orsini eds., Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, MN. ISBN: 978-0816688890.

Nadesan, M. H. 2013. Neofeudalism and the financial crisis: Implications for Occupy Wall Street. Pp. 35-52 In: Guarriello Heath, R., C. Vail Fletcher and R. Munoz eds., Understandin Occupy from Wall Street to Portland: Applied Studies in CommunicationTheory. Lexington Books. Plymouth, UK. ISBN: 978-0739183212.

Nadesan, M. H. 2013. The demise of liberal biopolitics: Wealth accumulation and disposable populations. In: Colaguori, C. ed., Security, Life & Death: Governmentality & Biopower in the Post 9/11 Era. de Sitter Publications. ISBN: 978-1897160817.