Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A Theory of Enclaves

Vinokurov, Evgeny (2007): A Theory of Enclaves.


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The manuscript represents a comprehensive theory of enclaves and exclaves. The theory comprises both political and economic aspects. It is the first general book on the world’s enclaves and exclaves. Due to its comprehensive and pioneer character, it has a potential to become a book of reference for the nascent and promising research field. In its attempt to provide a fully-fledged theory of enclaves and exclaves, it covers a wide scope of regions and territories throughout the world. Basically, it satisfies the need for a systematic view on the enclaves throughout the world. Rather than viewing each enclave as a unique case, or even as an anomaly, it provides a systematic investigation of enclave-related political and economic issues. Moreover, enclaves are approached in the conceptual framework of the mainland-enclave-surrounding state triangle, i.e. they are viewed relative both to their métropoles and the states that they immediately border at. While the number of enclaves reaches 282 with the total population of almost three million, their importance is much higher because of their specific status and specific issues raised for both the mainland states and the surrounding states. To give just a few examples, the importance of Gibraltar (30 thousand inhabitants, 6.5 sq. km) was disproportionately large for British-Spanish relations throughout the last three centuries. Tiny Ceuta and Melilla (72,000 and 62,000 inhabitants, 19.5 and 12.5km2, respectively) have caused (and are causing) tensions in Spanish-Moroccan relations for more than three centuries and have recently become visible at the EU level, too. German Büsingen (1,500 inhabitants, 7.6km2) was subject to several complex international treaties between Germany and Switzerland. Kaliningrad (960,000 inhabitants, 15,100 km2) managed to cause a major crisis in the EU-Russian relations in 2002-03.

The manuscript strives to comprise at three facets of enclaves’ existence, that is, their political, economic, and social life. The scope of questions is large. The first layer consists of questions dealing with the very phenomenon of enclaves and exclaves. Are they specific indeed? Do they have any common characteristics so that they can be treated as a unique class of spatial objects? Then, we go on to discuss a number of issues concerning enclaves’ emergence, maturity, and disappearance. Why and how do they emerge? How do enclaves mature? How do they cease to exist? Furthermore, a large part of the investigation concerns enclave economies. Are enclaves generally incapable of being economically sustainable on their own? What are the conditions for economic prosperity? What are the factors impeding development? What are the factors advancing development? Here, we are dealing with a difficult challenge which these territories have to overcome. Their existence under the specific conditions of heavy external dependency and insufficiency of internal resources calls for specific ways of arranging their economic specialization. The economic challenge of enclaves and exclaves differs from the economic challenges of small states and islands because of their very enclave/exclave status. Finally, we search for enclaves’ place in the world, in particular in the bilateral relations between the surrounding state and the mainland state. What is the place of enclaves in world politics? What is the place of enclaves in world economy?

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