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Two U.S. political geographers examine a range of geopolitical issues associated with the shifting sovereignty of Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast (a part of the former German province of East Prussia) during the 20th century, as well as the region's evolving geopolitical status as a consequence of the European Union's enlargement to embrace Poland and Lithuania. They argue that Kaliningrad today can be considered a "double" borderland, situated simultaneously on the European Union's border with Russia as well as physically separated from Russia, its home country, by the surrounding land boundaries of EU states. Although technically neither an exclave nor an enclave, they posit that in many ways it resembles both, and as such presents a unique set of problems for economic development and interstate relations.


This article first appeared in, Hagen, Joshua, and Alexander Diener (2011) Geopolitics of the Kaliningrad Exclave and Enclave: Russian and EU Perspectives, Eurasian Geography and Economics, 52: 4, 567-592. The publication is available at

Reprinted with permission.