Politics is the process by which groups of people make authoritative decisions about the allocation of value. In simpler terms, politics is “who gets what, when and how ” (Lasswell 1950). Comparative government is the study and interpretation of politics across states. Thus, a longer definition of comparative government is that it is the study and interpretation of the different ways people, organized into states, make decisions about who gets what, when they get it, and how they get it. This involves describing, explaining, and predicting certain social phenomena through comparison. The successful comparison of social phenomena and the production of descriptions, explanations, and predictions that can be shared with others requires a shared or common conceptual framework, or set of concepts linked together in a meaningful way. This document presents a framework designed to provide students with a common set of 101 concepts, emboldened in the text, they can use to gain an understanding of politics across diverse societies.1 A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT METHODS Successful comparison requires conceptualization, which is the process of defining concepts central to an investigation and specifying and defining how concepts will be measured. In the physical sciences, scientists have developed various concepts like the kilometer or the nanosecond to measure the properties of physical phenomena. These concepts, or measurements, are very exact. In the social sciences, conceptualization and measurement is much more difficult because one must not only describe social phenomena but interpret their meaning as well. One solution is a specific kind of concept known as an “ideal type, ” which was developed by sociologist Max Weber as a heuristic device, or method of investigation. An ideal type is constructed by emphasizing the logical or consistent traits of a social phenomena, not necessarily desirable ones. It does not correspond to all of the characteristics of a particular case but rather stresses certain elements common to most cases of the given phenomena. Indeed, most ideal types do not exist in the real world. Students should be aware that the conceptual framework presented here makes extensive use of ideal types.