Enclave: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Fig. 1) C is A's enclave and B's exclave
(Fig. 2) D is an exclave of B, but not an enclave of A since it also shares a border with C

In political geography, an enclave is a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory.[1]

An exclave, on the other hand, is a territory legally attached to another territory with which it is not physically contiguous.[2]

These are two distinct concepts, although many entities fit both definitions. In Fig. 1 at right, C is an exclave of B, and is also an enclave within A. If C were independent it would be an enclave but not an exclave. In Fig. 2 at right, D is again an exclave of B, but is not an enclave, because it has boundaries with more than one country.


Origin and usage

The word enclave crept into the jargon of diplomacy rather late in English, in 1868, coming from French, the lingua franca of diplomacy, with a sense inherited from Late Latin inclavatus meaning shut in, locked up (with a key, Latin clavis). The word exclave is a logical extension created three decades later.

Although the meanings of both words are close, an exclave may not necessarily be an enclave or vice versa. For example, Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia, is not an enclave because it is surrounded not by one state, but by two: Lithuania and Poland; it also borders the Baltic Sea. On the other hand, Lesotho is an enclave in South Africa, but it is not politically attached to anything else, meaning that it is not an exclave.

In British administrative history, subnational enclaves were usually called detachments. In English ecclesiastic history, subnational enclaves were known as peculiars (see also Royal Peculiar).

A country surrounded by another but having access to the sea is not considered to be an enclave, regardless of size. For this reason Portugal is not an enclave of Spain, and Gambia is not an enclave of Senegal.


Usage in other fields

In medicine, an exclave is a detached part of an organ, as of the pancreas, thyroid, or other gland.


Enclaves may be created for a variety of historical, political or geographical reasons. Some areas have been left as enclaves by changes in the course of a river.

Since living in an enclave can be very inconvenient and many agreements have to be found by both countries over mail addresses, power supply or passage rights, enclaves tend to be eliminated and many cases that existed before have now been removed.

Many exclaves today have an independence movement, especially if the exclave is far away from the mainland.

True enclaves

See List of enclaves and exclaves.

This refers to those territories where a country is sovereign, but which cannot be reached without entering one particular other country. One example was West Berlin, before the reunification of Germany, which was de facto a West German exclave within East Germany, and thus an East German enclave (many small West Berlin land areas, such as Steinstücken, were in turn separated from the main one, some by only a few meters). De jure all of Berlin was ruled by the four Allied powers; this meant that West Berlin could not send voting members to the German Parliament, and that its citizens were exempt from conscription; however, this was not accepted by the East German government or the Soviet Union, which treated East Berlin as an integral part of East Germany. Most of the enclaves now existing are to be found in Asia, with a handful in Africa and Europe. While administrative enclaves are found frequently elsewhere, there are no nation-level enclaves in Australia or the Americas.

Enclaved countries

Position of Lesotho within South Africa

Some enclaves are countries in their own right, completely surrounded by another one, and therefore not exclaves. Three such sovereign countries exist:

See also List of countries that border only one other country.

Temporary enclaves

The Scottish Court in the Netherlands, at Camp Zeist near Utrecht, was temporarily declared as sovereign territory of the United Kingdom under Scottish law for the duration of the trial and subsequent appeal of those accused in the Lockerbie bombing, and was therefore an exclave of the United Kingdom, part of the region of Scotland, and an enclave within the Netherlands. The court was first convened in 1999, and the land returned to the Netherlands in 2002.

Related constructs and terms

"Practical" enclaves and exclaves and inaccessible districts

Some territories, attached to the motherland by a thin slice of land or territorial water, are more easily accessible by traveling through a foreign country. These territories may be called "practical exclaves" or "pene-exclaves" (example: the Northwest Angle between the United States and Canada, or the Spanish village of Os de Civís, which can only be accessed through the independent Andorra as it is virtually isolated from the rest of Spain by mountains.)

Conversely, a territory that is an exclave but does not function as one (instead functioning as a contiguous part of the main nation) is deemed a "quasi-exclave".(Robinson 1959)

Subnational enclaves and exclaves

Sometimes, administrative divisions of a country, for historical or practical reasons, caused some areas to belong to a division while being attached to another one.

Second-order enclaves

It is possible for an enclave to be completely surrounded not by the main body of another country, but by an exclave of it. The Netherlands has seven exclaves surrounded by the Belgian municipality of Baarle-Hertog, which is itself an exclave.

Ethnic enclaves

An ethnic enclave is a community of an ethnic group inside an area in which another ethnic group predominates. Ghettos, Little Italys, barrios and Chinatowns are examples. These areas may have a separate language, culture and economic system. Nagorno-Karabakh is arguably an ethnic enclave. It is a predominantly ethnic Armenia area inside Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh War which lasted from 1988 to 1994 resulted in the area self-proclaiming its independence, but this has never been recognized by the international community, which tends to describe the current situation as a frozen conflict.[3]


Embassies and military bases are usually exempted from the jurisdiction of the host country, i.e., the laws of the host nation in which an embassy is located do not typically apply to the land of the embassy or base itself. This exemption from the jurisdiction of the host country is defined as extraterritoriality. Areas of extraterritoriality are not true enclaves as they are still part of the host country. In addition to embassies some other areas have extraterritoriality.

Examples of this include:

Land ceded to a foreign country

Some areas of land in a country are owned by another country and in some cases it has special privileges, such as being exempt from taxes. These lands are not enclaves and do not have extraterritoriality.

Examples of this include:

National railway passing through foreign territory

Changes in borders can make a railway that was previously located solely within a country traverse the new borders. Since railways are much more expensive than roads to rebuild to avoid this problem, the criss-cross arrangement tends to last a long time. With passenger trains this may mean that doors on carriages are locked and guarded to prevent illicit entry and exit while the train is momentarily in another country.

Examples include:

Also, borders have occasionally been shifted for the purpose of avoiding this sort of arrangement. The best-known example is the Gadsden Purchase, in which the United States bought land from Mexico on which it was planned to build a southern route for the transcontinental railroad. Owing to the topography of the area, acquisition of the land was the only feasible way to construct such a railroad through the southern New Mexico Territory.

National highway passing through foreign territory

This arrangement is less common as highways are more easily re-aligned as noted above. Examples include:

Border infrastructure

Several bridges cross the rivers Oder and Neisse between Germany and Poland. To avoid needing to coordinate their efforts on a single bridge, the two states assign each bridge to one or the other; thus Poland is responsible for all maintenance on some of the bridges, including the German side, and vice versa.[8]

The Hallein Salt Mine crosses from Austria into Germany. Under an 1829 treaty Austria can dig under the then-Kingdom of Bavaria. In return some salt has to be given to Bavaria, and up to 99 of its citizens can be hired to work in the Austrian mine.[9]

See also



  1. ^ "6 results for: enclave". Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/enclave. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  2. ^ "4 results for: exclave". Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exclave. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  3. ^ "Can thaw unstick frozen conflict?". BBC News. 2009-05-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8034186.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  4. ^ Evans, D. M. Emrys (1965). "John F. Kennedy Memorial Act, 1964". The Modern Law Review 28 (6): 703–706. 
  5. ^ Railway Gazette International April 2008 p 240
  6. ^ Railway Gazette International April 2008 p 240
  7. ^ http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11338783-s15.htm
  8. ^ Railway Gazette: Border bridges rebuilt
  9. ^ The log of the Water Lily, p. 84


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ENCLAVE (a French word from enclaver, to enclose), a term signifying a country or, more commonly, an outlying portion of a country, entirely surrounded by the territories of a foreign or other power, such as the detached portions of Prussia, Saxony, &c., enclosed in the Thuringian States. (From the point of view of the states possessing such detached portions of territory these become "exclaves.") "Enclave" is, however, generally used in a looser sense to describe a colony or other territory of a state, which, while possessing a seaboard, is entirely surrounded landward by the possession of some other power; or, if inland territory, nearly though not entirely so enclosed, e.g. the Lado Enclave in equatorial Africa.

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Simple English

[[File:|right|frame|C is A's enclave and B's exclave.]] In general use, an enclave can be any special area of a bigger area of land, such as a part of a city that has different taxes than the rest of the city.

In political geography, an enclave is a piece of land which has a different country totally arounded it. If another country has sovereignty over it, it is also called an exclave of that other country.

Exclaves can also exist within a country. This is when some administrative regions have holes (of other such regions) in them.

The word enclave is a relatively new word in the language of diplomacy: Diplomats are used to speaking French. The word comes from late Latin inclavatus, which can be translated as shut in, locked up (with a key, from Latin clavis, key). The word got in the English language in the year 1868. exclave (with a similar meaning) followed 3 decades later.

Enclaves may be created for a variety of historical, political or geographical reasons. Some areas have been left as enclaves simply because a river changed its course.

Since living in an enclave can be very inconvenient and many agreements have to be found by both countries over mail addresses, power supply or passage rights, enclaves tend to be eliminated and many cases that existed before have now been removed. Sometimes it is the case, that enclaves are traded for one another.

In English Church history, subnational enclaves were known as peculiars (see also Royal Peculiar).

Enclaved countries

[[File:|frame|Lesotho (shown in green) is completely surrounded by South Africa.]] Some enclaves are countries that are not part of any other country, and therefore not exclaves. Three such countries exist:

See also List of countries that border only one other country.


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