The migration crisis has seen multiple apparent failures in the European project – of solidarity, response and co-operation. In this sense, the new politics of (in)security applies as much to the troubled internal dynamics of the Union as it does to the management of insecure and vulnerable migrants. There is, however, political potential in the deployment of crisis language and the invocation of novel (in)securities. That is, the dynamic of disintegration and collapse that has accompanied the European response (from the re-assertion of sovereign borders to the rejection of EU initiatives by individual member states) has been productive of new authorities, interventions and relationships in the field of migration and security. Key here is the devolution of bordering practices to non-EU partners (across Africa, Asia and beyond), the inexorable rise of private security authorities and expertise, and the wholesale turn to technologies to secure borders and manage migration. Motivated by a concern to understand what the claim to novelty allows governing bodies to do in the name of security.