Mark Maguire is Head of the Maynooth University Department of Anthropology. His current work focuses on security, from borders to biometrics, and from counter-terrorism to how security experts produce evidence for policy.
He completed his doctoral research on international programme refugees, specifically Vietnamese refugees who were resettled in Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s and who now have second and third-generation Vietnamese-Irish families. His book on this topic is Differently Irish (Woodfield Press, 2004). Thereafter, he completed projects on asylum detention and on the lives of African migrants after asylum. In 2012, with co-author Fiona Murphy, he published Integration in Ireland: the everyday lives of African migrants (Manchester, 2012). Mark's projects on refugee and asylum migration are driven my a concern to explore everyday life, to go beyond policy and statistics and show the lived experiences of migration. His work speaks to issues such as home cultures, religion, education and youth identity. It is from the perspectives of grounded experiences, he believes, that social-scientific knowledge can show its transformative and ethical power.
In recent years, based on research conducted in the USA as a Fulbright scholar, together with research in the Middle East and the UK, he has been writing about borders, especially the roll out of biometric systems and behavior detection systems. He is co-editor of The Anthropology of Security (Pluto, 2014), which showcases his ethnographic research with counter-terrorism teams in airports. He is now writing about the uses of human behavior models for deceit detection and predictive policing. His core interest is in showing how often-vague theories about human behavior are posing problems for societal governance.