Unilateral is a term that refers to the constituency of a single party in a negotiation on a certain issue.
Unilateral is a term that refers to the situation in which an agreement only commits one party. In other words, unilateralism refers to the involvement of a single party in a certain situation, excluding the other party from any possible obligation.
This term is opposed to the term bilateral or multilateral, therefore, where the obligations commit two or more parties.
The clearest examples are found in the preparation of contracts, decision-making, as well as many aspects closely linked to the political and diplomatic environment.
Difference between unilateral and bilateral
Although the concepts are quite clairvoyant in their linguistic composition, these are completely opposite concepts.
Unilateralism, as we said, refers to a situation in which a negotiation ends with the involvement of a certain party in a certain situation. This, therefore, excludes another, or third parties, from any obligation or commitment to the agreement reached.
While, on the other hand, bilaterality refers to the situation in which, in a negotiation, the agreement is settled with the involvement of both parties in the agreement reached. These, therefore, acquire the commitment of a collective implication.
Examples of one-sided situations
Many situations can harbor the one-sided component. However, a large part of these situations are closely linked to the business, political and diplomatic sphere.
First, a great example of one-sidedness can be seen in the world of law. The unilateral contract is that contract in which only a part of those involved acquires the commitment to comply with a series of obligations or requirements. Since it is only a part of them, it is called a unilateral contract. A clear example of a unilateral contract can be found in the donation contract.
Second, unilateralism can also occur in political or business decisions. In this sense, the term unilateral, although it refers to the same thing, has a different result from its application in contracts. Unilateral decisions are those in which only the decision adopted by one party is contemplated. Therefore, excluding the participation of other parties involved in the elaboration of a certain strategy or the fulfillment of an agreement.
The emergence of multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism
Since the Second World War, in the political aspect, unilateral decision-making has been severely questioned. This led to the creation of a series of multilateral organizations. Which will ensure common interests and end decision-making from unilateralism.
The perceived inability to contain peace in a one-sided scenario caused unilateral decision-making in certain political situations to be increasingly controversial. International diplomacy, as well as newly created organizations, advocate a scenario in which decision-making relieves unilateralism for multilateralism. The intention is to establish negotiation frameworks that are considered more diplomatic, as well as those that include a fair participation of the agents involved.