We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Enclave?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At CulturalWorld.org, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In geography, an enclave is a country which is entirely enclosed by another nation. Most commonly, an enclave is also an exclave, meaning that it is actually the satellite of a larger mother state. Enclaves may be formed for a number of a reasons, but they often result in administrative and political issues, and attempts are frequently made to eliminate them. The term is also used to refer to a clustered religious or ethnic group within a larger one, as is the case with San Francisco's Chinatown.

The word comes from the Old French enclaver, which means “to enclose.” This word was derived from a Latin word, clavis, meaning “key.” Many enclaves were formed when official national boundaries were drawn, sometimes resulting in pockets of people of a different nationality trapped inside another country. This often led to political upheaval, as the people within the enclave could be cut off from their mother nation. In some cases, an enclave may be occupied by people with a different ethnic, religious, or political background from the surrounding country, which can lead to tensions.

Two of the most well known examples of an enclave are Lesotho, which is enclosed within the boundaries of the Republic of South Africa, and Vatican City, an independent entity inside Italy. West Berlin is a historic example of an enclave, since it was located entirely within East Germany. West Berlin is an excellent illustration of the most common type of enclave, which usually consists of a small village or town of a separate nationality located inside another country.

In many former colonies, enclaves exist in large numbers. India, for example, has over 80 Bangladeshi enclaves within its border. Several islands are also enclaves, since they are surrounded by the territorial waters of another nation. Many of these island enclaves were seized for political or military advantage, and the occupying nation is reluctant to cede the land.

When an enclave is an exclave, agreements are usually reached between the mother nation and the country which surrounds the exclave. These agreements ensure that the citizens of the enclave are not entirely cut off, and typically include measures to protect airspace and the ability to pass freely between borders. In some cases, the citizens of an enclave may lobby to be absorbed into the surrounding nation, especially if the enclave is small, and residents have adopted the language and culture of their neighbors.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon119335 — On Oct 17, 2010

No. San Marino is its own sovereign state. It is surrounded by Italy, just as much as Gambia may be surrounded by Senegal, or Lesotho by South Africa - but this condition does not detract from its own sovereign status.

By anon70695 — On Mar 15, 2010

is San Marino an enclave of Italy?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

CulturalWorld.org, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.