Exclaves and Enclaves

Figure 1. Because this is TOTALLY RATIONAL.

In political geography, you're bound to talk about boundaries and borders across the world, and how not all of them are as simple as a line. These are where exclaves and enclaves come into play.

What are exclaves and enclaves anyways?

According to Wikipedia, an exclave is a "portion of a state geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory." An enclave is "any portion of a state that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state."

In English, you ask?

Exclaves

An exclave is a part of a state that is separated from the main land by a different land of other states, as seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2. "C" is an exclave of "B", as "C" is seperated from B by alien territory.

If the area in question is not separated from the mainland by alien territory, then it is not a exclave. For example, Alaska is an exclave of the US as it is separated from the US by Canada. Hawaii is NOT an exclave of the US as it is not separated from the US by any country. Being separated by water does not make an exclave.

The best way to think about this is to think about borders. If a person cannot walk from the mainland to the separated part of the country without crossing another border, then the separated part is an exclave. Referring back to Figure 2, there is no way to get to "C" from "B" without going through "A" or "D".

Another real world example of an exclave is the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası) which is an exclave of Azerbaijan.

To easily remember exclaves, remember that exclaves are separated areas. Exes are separated couples.

Exclave, exes.

Enclaves

An enclave is a area of / a country that is completely surrounded by another country, as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3. "F" is completely surrounded by "C", making it enclaved by "C".

If the area in question has only one border with a country, and is landlocked, then it is an enclave. An enclaved MUST be landlocked. An example of where an area is almost enclaved except for water is Gambia. It only borders Senegal, but it has a coastline. Therefore, it is NOT an enclave. See Figure 4 for more details.

Figure 4. "A" is not an enclave, since it is not landlocked. It has only one border, but since it is next a body of water, isn't an enclave.

Again, the best way to think about this is in terms of borders. If you are unable to leave the country without passing through another one, the country is enclaved. Leaving through water counts as being able to pass through another border, so that is why countries that have coastlines can't be enclaves. An example of what I like to call "pseudo-enclaves" is Canada, believe it or not. Canada only shares one border with a country, and it is the United States. Obviously, it is not a enclave since it has a large water border and both sides.

A real world example of an enclave is Vatican City. Vatican City is not only enclaved inside of Italy, it is enclaved inside the city of Rome.

Want to find out how Vatican City was made into Italy? Check out this video by C.G.P. Grey:

To remember enclaves, remember the en in enclave. En sounds like in, and enclaves are inside other countries.

Relationships Between Enclaves and Exclaves

#itscomplicated

Enclaved exclaves do exist, and they are when an area of country is surrounded by another country. In fact, these are more prevalent than whole-country enclaves. Campione d'Italia is an example of this. Campione is an Italian comune (municipality) which is enclaved within Switzerland.

Note: In the map, "Italia" is Italy, and "Schweiz" is Switzerland.

National Level Enclaves

In short, national level enclaves are entire countries surrounded by another country.

National Level Enclaves

  1. Lesotho - An African country enclaved within South Africa.
  2. San Marino - A European country enclaved within Italy.
  3. Vatican City - A European country enclaved within Italy.

For those asking, the reason I did not make a list of national level exclaves is for the reason that there are many technicalities, such as unclaimed land, unclear borders, and so on. To get a rough idea of the number of national level exclaves check this out:

References

WonderWhy. "The Most Complex International Borders in the World." Online video clip. YouTube. Google, 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

WonderWhy. "The Most Complex International Borders in the World - Part 2." Online video clip. YouTube. Google, 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

CGP Grey. "Countries inside Countries: Bizarre Borders Part 1" Online video clip. YouTube. Google, 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

CGP Grey. "Canada & The United States: Bizarre Borders Part 2" Online video clip. YouTube. Google, 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

"Enclave and exclave." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Author's Note

Thank you all for reading! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them below~!

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

This is wonderful Pablo! Nice work!

2 years ago
0

Thank you very much! It means a lot.

2 years ago
0

Way to go Pablo! You made us all look stupid.

2 years ago
0

But seriously. This is great 😁 good job!

2 years ago
0

@lailaislame Don't worry, I here that a lot! 💁 But seriously, thank you!

2 years ago
0

^ *hear 😬

2 years ago
0

Smart people can't spell^😁

2 years ago
0

Your welcome!

2 years ago
0

@jazmxn @lailaislame That was the joke... 😓

2 years ago
1

@lailaislame You're* Oh, the irony..