In international relations, multilateralism is multiple countries working in concert on a given issue. Multilateralism was defined by Miles Kahler as “international governance of the ‘many,’” and its central principle was “opposition [of] bilateral discriminatory arrangements that were believed to enhance the leverage of the powerful over the weak and to increase international conflict.” In 1990, Robert Keohane defined multilateralism as “the practice of coordinating national policies in groups of three or more states. Multilateralism, whether in the form of membership in an alliance or in international institutions, are necessary to bind the great power, discourage unilateralism, and give the small powers a voice and voting opportunities that they would not otherwise have. Especially, if control is sought by a small power over a great power, then the Lilliputian strategy of small countries achieving control by collectively binding the great power is likely to be most effective. Similarly, if control is sought by a great power over another great power, then multilateral controls may be most useful. The great power could seek control through bilateral ties, but this would be costly; it also would require bargaining and compromise with the other great power. Embedding the target state in a multilateral alliance reduces the costs borne by the power seeking control, but it also offers the same binding benefits of the Lilliputian strategy. Furthermore, if a small power seeks control over another small power, multilateralism may be the only choice, because small powers rarely have the resources to exert control on their own. International organizations, such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization are multilateral in nature. The main proponents of multilateralism have traditionally been the middle powers such as Canada, Australia, Switzerland, the Benelux countries and the Nordic countries. Larger states often act unilaterally, while smaller ones may have little direct power in international affairs aside from participation in the United Nations (by consolidating their UN vote in a voting bloc with other nations, for example). Multilateralism may involve several nations acting together as in the UN or may involve regional or military alliances, pacts, or groupings such as NATO. As these multilateral institutions were not imposed on states but were created and accepted by them in order to increase their ability to seek their own interests through the coordination of their policies, much of these international institutions lack tools of enforcement while instead work as frameworks that constrain opportunistic behaviour and points for coordination by facilitating exchange of information about the actual behaviour of states with reference to the standards to which they have consented. The term “regional multilateralism” has been proposed suggesting that “contemporary problems can be better solved at the regional rather than the bilateral or global levels” and that bringing together the concept of regional integration with that of multilateralism is necessary in today’s world. The converse of multilateralism is unilateralism in terms of political philosophy.