An approach to international politics in which a state seeks its goals through consultation and coordination with other states, usually in formally structured regional or international organizations like NATO or the United Nations. Close Window
An approach to trade policy focusing on multilateral negotiations (as opposed to bilateral negotiations or regional trade arrangements) as the most effective way of liberalizing trade in an interdependent global economy. Because concessions in one bilateral or regional deal may undermine concessions made to another trading partner in an earlier deal, basing a country's trade regime on a sequence of bilateral arrangements can be both technically demanding and politically divisive. In principle, multilateralism broadens the scope of possible deal-making by enabling "cross-trades" (e.g., concessions by country A that benefit country B, enabling country B to make concessions favoring country C, which then may be in a position to make concessions sought by country A.) In the absence of such cross-trades, liberalizing deals may be possible only if two countries each happen to be willing to offer the precise concessions that the other is seeking.
Groups of countries operating through international organizations and engaged in collective problem solving and problem resolution.
Cooperation between two or more nations on international issues.
pertaining to several sides. In the context of international trade, it refers to free trade among countries; in the context of governance, it refers to countries consulting with one another before making foreign policy decisions in order to present a unified position.
An international policy intended to free international trade from the restrictions of bilateralism. Multilateralism represents an effort to permit nations to specialize in production and exchange in accordance with the principle of comparative advantage.
Multilateralism is a term in international relations that refers to multiple countries working in concert on a given issue.