Thomas Swann, author of the forthcoming book Anarchist Cybernetics, provides an overview of cybernetics as the identification of universal principles of self-organisation, and connects this with anarchism and mutual aid. In the context of the present coronavirus crisis, he argues that an engagement with cybernetics can help anarchists and others involved in mutual aid networks to think seriously about organisational structure to address problems such as structural hierarchies and to protect their openness to democratic participation.
Alessio Kolioulis examines the continuing significance of Colin Ward’s most famous book, The Child in the City (1978). He highlights the missed connections with continental scholars working in similar fields at the time, and unpicks some of Ward’s key ideas around education and urbanism.
The crises sparked by the financial crash of 2007-8 produced a decade of movements and uprisings. Neil Middleton compares two of the most prominent theatres of crisis in recent years, Greece and France, and argues that despite their limitations the politics of direct democracy, direct action and self-organisation were making progress, and these experiences can help us prepare for the next round of crisis in the wake of Covid-19.