This is a terrific resource! Aaltola provides a comprehensive taxonomy of empathy that is important for animal ethics and beyond.
One of the key limitations of animal ethics has been the way that the available theories separate justifications for overcoming anthropocentrism from our motivations for doing so. Rights have been pivotal, and feelings marginal. Our care, emotional responsiveness, and empathy, have been written out of the picture. Elisa Aaltola’s book serves as an important corrective. It is a major contribution to animal ethics.
Bartolini (European Univ. Institute) tackles the thorny question “what is politics?” He defines politics as “a search for the behavioral compliance of other human beings” or “the desire to get somebody to do something that he or she would not otherwise have done.” It is a sphere of activity to be distinguished from the pursuit of ethics, interests, or honor. He introduces two dimensions—level of confinement (open or closed) and degree of monopolization, resulting in a 2 by 2 matrix: anarchy, state of nature, associations, and government. Bartolini avoids the methodological individualism of rational choice and the overly structural explanations of Weberian sociology. He writes in the tradition of Harold Lasswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When and How (McGraw-Hill, 1936), or Steven Lukes, Power: A Radical View (Macmillan, 1974). He draws upon a broad range of thinkers, though there are some absences. The index omits some of the cited authors and misspells Elinor Ostrom. The implicit frame of reference is the European state. The book is a clear analytical essay, with few empirical examples to flesh out the argument but without the abstraction that makes political theory hard for scholars of comparative politics to digest. An important book that deserves a wide audience among political scientists.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through faculty.