Michael McGuire

Michael McGuire

Senior Lecturer


My publications


McGuire M (2012) Technology, Crime and Justice. The Question Concerning Technomia, Routledge, Taylor & Francis
As technology comes to characterize our world in ever more comprehensive ways there are increasing questions about how the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of technological use can be adequately categorized. To date, the scope of such questions have been limited ? focused upon specific technologies such as the internet, or bio-technology with little sense of any social or historical continuities in the way technology in general has been regulated.

In this book, for the first time, the 'question of technology' and its relation to criminal justice is approached as a whole. Technology, Crime and Justice analyzes a range of technologies, (including information, communications, nuclear, biological, transport and weapons technologies, amongst many others) in order to pose three interrelated questions about their affects upon criminal justice and criminal opportunity:

æto what extent can they really be said to provide new criminal opportunity or to enhance existing ones?

æwhat are the key characteristics of the ways in which such technologies have been regulated?

æhow does technology itself serve as a regulatory force ? both in crime control and social control more widely?

Technology, Crime and Justice considers the implications of contemporary technology for the practice of criminal justice and relates them to key historical precedents in the way technology has been interpreted and controlled. It outlines a new ?social? way of thinking about technology ? in terms of its affects upon our bodies and what they can do, most obviously the ways in which social life and our ability to causally interact with the world is ?extended? in various ways. It poses the question ? could anything like a ?Technomia? of technology be identified ? a recognizable set of principles and sanctions which govern the way that it is produced and used, principles also consistent with our sense of justice?

This book provides a key resource for students and scholars of both criminology and technology studies.

McGuire MR (2010) Online Surveillance & Personal Liberty, In: Jewkes Y, Yar M (eds.), Handbook of Internet Crime 23 pp. 492-520 Willan
The advent of early communications technologies such as the telegraph or telephone networks brought with them a new presumption on the part of the State and other control agents ? that they should have privileged access to the private social interactions which occur there. This presumption has not only expanded with the growth of more recent technologies like the mobile phone and internet but has been legitimized by a swathe of new legal provisions, provisions which significantly outnumber the legal protections extended to private interaction. The idea that this is not just a legitimate, but a ?natural? state of affairs has resulted in an unprecedented range of techniques for the monitoring of private behaviours. In turn, new kinds of control agents have been produced ? from parents and local authorities through to supermarkets and schools. In this chapter a taxonomy of the varieties and techniques of contemporary surveillance now used on networked communication systems is set out, along with the range of agents able to deploy them at varying levels of sophistication. In a context where keyword filtration, tracking software and data retention begin to play as much of a role in enforcing social order as the justice system itself, some typical arguments advanced to justify this subtle shift ? for example the need for identity security, prevention of terrorism or child protection ? are outlined and critically evaluated.
McGuire MR (2008) From Hyperspace to Hypercrime : new Technologies and the Geometries of Control, papers from the British Criminology Conference 2008 8 pp. 3-17
This paper argues that the significance of technology for contemporary crime and control needs urgent retheorisation. In a context where communications and information technology are having such profound effects upon social interaction, important questions arise about the changing relations between spatial experience, crime and control. The paper suggests that one standard approach here ? the claim that communications technology crimes are best explained by reference to them as ?cybercrimes? which occur in?cyberspace?? represents one variant of the failure to properly locate technology within the social. Adopting a Simmelian perspective, the paper advocates considering technology in terms of a geometry of offending behaviours and responses to them ? one defined by social interaction rather than the other way around. It is argued that an extended form of social space ?a hyperspace ? is now evolving, with important implications, not just for our experience and perception of crime, but the kinds of options available for managing it.
McGuire M (2013) Technomia and the bio-chemical citizen, Deviance et Societe 37 (3) pp. 265-287
The advent of DNA profiling as a tool of criminal justice has marked a new stage in the use of the body as a regulatory resource. The traditional role of criminal justice - as a visible object of pain dispensation - has gradually been subsumed within more pervasive and invisible regulatory projects centred upon the body's bio-chemical structures. So pervasive has this transformation been that it has been argued that a new kind of judicial subject -the «biological citizen» has emerged. In this paper I argue that the «biological citizen» needs to be viewed as just one outcome of a more complete regulatory shift, one where bio-chemical technologies form part of a wider matrix of technological regulation. Within this new regulatory order of technology (what I call a «technomia») the function of traditional justice and its institutions are being re-articulated in ways we have only just begun to appreciate.
McGuire MR (2011) Abnormal Law: Teratology as a Logic of Criminalization, In: Duff RA, Farmer L, Marshall, S.E., Renzo M, Tadros, V. (eds.), The Structures of Criminal Law 8 Oxford University Press
The idea that criminalisation is predominantly motivated by rational responses to norm violations has been a familiar position within legal theory, one which has diverted attention away from some more irrational impulses which often drive it. In this paper I consider one set of impulses of this kind - law constructed as responses to what I term the abnormal - a complex social constant which, I argue, produces effects that are substantively distinct from those generated by negated norms. Tracing contemporary legal attitudes towards the abnormal from within premodern regulatory responses to the construct of the ?monster?, I evaluate the role of scientific discourse in reconstituting the monstrous in terms of the more socially acceptable trope of abnormality. I examine the long standing role of abnormalities as a predictor for risk, especially within criminal justice - from the notorious Lombrosian project of correlating biological abnormalities with criminality through to contemporary programmes of criminal profiling and the search for correlations between brain abnormalities and criminality. Setting Foucaults account of the ?human monster? and its legal impacts beside Garlands criminology of the ?other? I then attempt to set out a more systematic ?hermeneutics of the other? in the form of a ?teratology? ? a social parallel to the discipline within medical science which gives it its name. I argue that in making our teratologies transparent we clarify their often negative impacts upon the production of criminal law ? in particular a kind of ?monstrous doubling? effect, where the anomalousness (seemingly) threatened by the abnormal becomes, in turn, legal anomaly. Not only do such effects subvert the rational management of harm into programmes of distorted or excessive law production. At their most extreme they can sometimes generate what Richard Ericsson has termed ?counterlaw? - laws against law, where abnormal circumstances seem to necessitate abnormal - that is, extra legal - responses. I conclude by suggesting that one contribution of a ?teratological stance? to any normative theory of criminalisation might be to refine our understanding of how law is structured in the face of imagined offence, rather than substantive wrongdoing.
McGuire MR (2013) La technomie et le citoyen biochimique
Technomia and the bio-chemical citizen,
Deviance et Societe (3)
L'apparition du profilage ADN comme outil au service de la justice penale constitue
une etape nouvelle dans l'usage du corps au titre de ressource a des fins de
regulation sociale. Le rôle traditionnel du corps penal ? objet visible de dispensation
de souffrances ? a progressivement ete dilue dans des projets de regulation plus
subtils et invisibles, centres sur sa structure biochimique. La transformation a ete si
subtile que l'on peut avancer qu'un nouveau type de sujet de justice est ne : le
citoyen biochimique. Dans cet article, je suggère que la citoyennete biologique doit
etre consideree comme le resultat d'un deplacement regulatoire plus complexe, dans
lequel les technologies biochimiques ne constituent qu'un element d'une matrice plus
etendue de la regulation technologique. Dans ce nouvel ordre technologique (que je
nomme technomie ), les fonctions de la justice penale traditionnelle et les
institutions qui la portent se doivent detre rearticulees selon des modalites dont nous
commencons seulement a nous rendre compte.
McGuire MR (2012) Foucault's Monsters and the Challenge of Law, SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES 21 (4) pp. 595-599 SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
McGuire MR (2016) Technology Crime and Technology Control: contexts and history, In: McGuire MR, Holt TJ (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Technology, Crime and Justice Part 1 Palgrave Macmillan
Technology has become increasingly important to both the function and our understanding of the justice process. Many forms of criminal behaviour are highly dependent upon technology, and crime control has become a predominantly technologically driven process - one where ?traditional? technological aids such as fingerprinting or blood sample analysis are supplemented by a dizzying array of tools and techniques including surveillance devices and DNA profiling.

This book offers the first comprehensive and holistic overview of global research on technology, crime and justice. It is divided into five parts, each corresponding with the key stages of the offending and justice process:

McGuire MR (2014) Putting the 'cyber' into cyberterrorism: Re-reading technological risk in a hyperconnected world, pp. 63-83
© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights reserved.Chapter Overview: Threat assessments of cyberterrorism have so far tended to focus upon on two kinds of question. First, the extent to which such a construct really 'exists'- or at least exists in any way substantively different from other forms of terrorism. Second, its destructive potentials and the kinds of targets this might involve. This chapter considers a more basic set of questions about the cyberterrorist threat. These centre upon the very thing considered to make it a distinctive form of offending: (information) technology and its relationships with the intentions of potential terrorists. Central to this analysis is an attempt to clarify some recurring confusions about the criminogenic potentials of technology in general-in particular the extent to which it can be causally agentic or 'enables' offending. I argue that it is only by developing a more coherent understanding of contemporary socio-technic relations that a robust evaluation of the risks posed by cyberterrorism can be made.
McGuire M (2007) Hypercrime, Routledge
Emphasizing a spatialized conception of deviance, one that clarifies the continuities between crime in the traditional, physical context and developing spaces of interaction such as a 'cyberspace', this book analyzes criminal behaviours in ...
McGuire MR (2016) Cybercrime 4.0: Now what is to be done?, In: Matthews R (eds.), What is to be done about crime and punishment? 10 pp. 251-275 Palgrave Macmillan
This book responds to the claim that criminology is becoming socially and politically irrelevant despite its exponential expansion as an academic sub-discipline. It does so by addressing the question 'what is to be done' in relation to a number of major issues associated with crime and punishment.
The original contributions to this volume are provided by leading international experts in a wide range of issues. They address imprisonment, drugs, gangs, cybercrime, prostitution, domestic violence, crime control, as well as white collar and corporate crime. Written in an accessible style, this collection aims to contribute to the development of a more public criminology and encourages students and researchers at all levels to engage in a form of criminology that is more socially relevant and more useful.
McGuire M (2007) Hypercrime: The new geometry of harm, Hypercrime: The New Geometry of Harm pp. 1-375
© 2007 Michael McGuire. All rights reserved.Hypercrime develops a new theoretical approach toward current reformulations in criminal behaviours, in particular the phenomenon of cybercrime. Emphasizing a spatialized conception of deviance, one that clarifies the continuities between crime in the traditional, physical context and developing spaces of interaction such as a 'cyberspace', this book analyzes criminal behaviours in terms of the destructions, degradations or incursions to a hierarchy of regions that define our social world. Each chapter outlines violations to the boundaries of each of these spaces - from those defined by our bodies or our property, to the more subtle borders of the local and global spaces we inhabit. By treating cybercrime as but one instance of various possible criminal virtualities, the book develops a general theoretical framework, as equally applicable to the, as yet unrealized, technologies of criminal behaviour of the next century, as it is to those which relate to contemporary computer networks. Cybercrime is thereby conceptualized as one of a variety of geometries of harm, merely the latest of many that have extended opportunities for illicit gain in the physical world. Hypercrime offers a radical critique of the narrow conceptions of cybercrime offered by current justice systems and challenges the governing presumptions about the nature of the threat posed by it.
McGuire M (2013) Technomia and the bio-chemical citizen, DEVIANCE ET SOCIETE 37 (3) pp. 265-287 MEDECINE ET HYGIENE