In a recent article, an Israeli foreign policy expert named
Grinstein’s context is admittedly very specific, namely the
That may not necessarily be violent, but not bargained for. As an example, he cites
Why not do something unilateral or carry the possibility with you to the table? Imagine yourself across the table from someone with a unilateral he or she displays, such as “I might do this. I might file suit while we are in these talks.” And your reaction? I’d bet something like, “Go ahead and file your effing suit, I’m ready.” Notice that your opponent is not saying “If these talks fail I will be forced to file suit.” That is understood, and your opposite will not see this as intended to break the talks.
Therefore, the key is not whether one has a unilateral available but whether it is brandished, or kept invisible and in quiet reserve. Quiet reserve is consistent with a sincere effort to have useful talks and to create trust. Brandishing … well, that’s obvious.
Negotiation 101: In negotiating any deal you almost always have something you can do unilaterally, like stop selling to or buying from the other side, but refrain from flaunting this unless you want to end serious bargaining.