1997 0-7734-2296-X This study expands the existing body of crisis theory. It examines the dynamics of the first post-Cold War crisis and provides insight into how this new international context affects decision-making, as well as national and international relationships. While previous works focused primarily on threat and the dynamics of superpower crises in a Cold War international system, this study highlights the opportunity dimension of a crisis, and how it can be exploited by local actors in a post-Cold War context. Past systematic analyses of foreign policy decision-making concentrated primarily on the US. This study fills a research gap by examining these processes in the West German Kohl government. It contributes to a better understanding of how reunification was achieved. Understanding contemporary German foreign policy is important because it has implications for alliance relationships and provides cues about the future course of Germany in the international system.