1 having identical parts on each side of an axis [syn: isobilateral, bilaterally symmetrical, bilaterally symmetric]
3 affecting or undertaken by two parties; "a bilateral agreement between the United States and Japan"
having two sides
- Icelandic: tvíhliða
involving both sides equally
binding on both parties to an agreement
- Icelandic: tvíhliða
having bilateral symmetry
involving descent or ascent regardless of sex and side of the family
Bilateralism comprises the political and cultural relations between two states.
Most international diplomacy is done bilaterally. Examples of this include treaties between two countries, exchanges of ambassadors, and state visits. The alternatives to bilateral relations are multilateral relations, which involve many states, and unilateralism, when one state acts on its own.
There has long been a debate on the merits of bilateralism versus multilateralism. The first rejection of bilateralism came after the First World War when many politicians concluded that the complex pre-war system of bilateral treaties had made war inevitable. This led to the creation of the multilateral League of Nations.
A similar reaction against bilateral trade agreements occurred after the Great Depression, when it was argued that such agreements helped to produce a cycle of rising tariffs that deepened the economic downturn. Thus, after the Second World War, the West turned to multilateral agreements such as GATT.
Despite the high profile of modern multilateral systems such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, most diplomacy is still done at the bilateral level. Bilateralism has a flexibility and ease that is lacking in most compromise-dependent multilateral systems.
MedicalIn medicine, the term "bilateral" indicates a condition or disease that affects both sides of the body (see also unilateral).
- bilaterals.org - An open-publishing website initiated by organizations and activists to share information and action ideas about bilateral deal-making. The site focuses on several key issues, including agriculture and intellectual property.
bilateral in Czech: Bilaterální dohoda
bilateral in German: Bilateralität
bilateral in Indonesian: Hubungan bilateral
bilateral in Norwegian: Bilateral
Janus-like, ambidextrous, bifacial, bifold, biform, bifurcated, binary, binate, biparous, bipartisan, bipartite, bivalent, conduplicate, dichotomous, dihedral, disomatous, double, double-faced, duadic, dual, dualistic, duple, duplex, duplicate, duplicated, dyadic, flanked, geminate, geminated, handed, identical, lateral, many-sided, matched, multilateral, one-sided, polyhedral, quadrilateral, second, secondary, sided, tetrahedral, three-sided, trihedral, trilateral, triquetrous, twain, twin, twinned, two, two-faced, two-level, two-ply, two-sided, two-story, twofold, unilateral