In recent years, the European Union has supported the development of a new civil security market, capable of providing security technology for new and global security challenges. This article analyses the emerging growth market for civil security in relation to contemporary notions of potential crisis and emergency. Building on ongoing academic analysis of what Melinda Cooper has termed ‘economies of emergence’, the article points out how the figure of emergence generates investment in more flexible, adaptive and, so it is argued, potentially lucrative markets for civil security. Drawing on observations at a number of security trade shows and stakeholder workshops, the analysis demonstrates that ‘civil’ aspirations, concepts and technologies build on earlier formulations of military strategic discourse in the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs – though in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. More generally, the motivation behind the analysis is to investigate civil security and civil markets as performative enactments, and so to critically engage with the emergence of the civil security market as a priority in EU policymaking.