This chapter’s principal purpose is to present the theoretical framework that structures the case studies that follow. The chapter begins by discussing the core concepts of the state, state formation, state reconstitution and endogenous state reconstitution. It then reviews the literature on political entrepreneurs and the duality of structure, two concepts that undergird the theoretical rationale behind this study’s theoretical framework. In particular, these two concepts justify the focus on unifiers and reunification campaigns. The literature on ideology, symbols and geopolitical space is then reviewed, suggesting ways forward for developing specific hypotheses about successful state reconstitution. The chapter concludes by presenting these hypotheses in a systematic manner – specifically, through the presentation of six necessary conditions. Three of these conditions are structural and three are strategic (i.e., individual-level). The chapter concludes by considering some implications of this causal framework.