A government in exile
(abbreviated as GiE
) is a political group which claims to be a country
or semi-sovereign state
's legitimate government
, but is unable to exercise legal power and instead resides in another state or foreign country.
Governments in exile
usually plan to one day return to their native country and regain formal power. A government in exile differs from a rump state
in the sense that a rump state controls at least part of its former territory.
For example, during World War I
, nearly all of Belgium
, but Belgium and its allies held on to a small slice in the country's west. A government in exile, in contrast, has lost all its territory. However, in practice the difference might be minor; in the above example, the Belgian government at Sainte-Adresseis
was located in French territory and acted as a government in exile for most practical purposes.
The effectiveness of a government in exile depends primarily on the amount of support it receives, either from foreign governments or from the population of its own country. Some exiled governments come to develop into a formidable force, posing a serious challenge to the incumbent regime
of the country, while others are maintained chiefly as a symbolic gesture.
recognizes that governments in exile may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs. These actions include:
Current governments in exile
Deposed governments of current states
These governments in exile were created by deposed
governments or rulers who continue to claim legitimate authority of the state they once controlled.
Deposed governments of former states
These governments in exile were created by deposed
governments or rulers who continue to claim legitimate authority of the state they once controlled but whose state no longer exists.
Current government regarded by some as a "government-in-exile" Government of the Republic of China
: The currently Taipei
-based Republic of China
government does not regard itself as a government-in-exile, but is claimed to be such by some participants in the debate on the political status of Taiwan
In addition to the island of Taiwan
and some other islands
it currently controls, the Republic of China formally maintains claims over territory now controlled by the People's Republic of China
as well as some parts of Afghanistan
, and Tajikistan
. The usual formal reasoning on which this "government-in-exile" claim is based relies on an argument that the sovereignty of Taiwan
was not legitimately handed to the Republic of China
at the end of World War II
and on that basis the Republic of China is located in foreign territory, therefore effectively making it a government in exile.
By contrast, this theory is not accepted by those who view the sovereignty of Taiwan as having been legitimately returned
to the Republic of China at the end of the war.
Both the People's Republic of China government
and the Kuomintang
in Republic of China (Taiwan) hold the latter view.
However, there are also some who do not accept that the sovereignty of Taiwan was legitimately returned to the Republic of China at the end of the war nor that the Republic of China is a government-in-exile, and China's territory does not include Taiwan. The current Democratic Progressive Party
in Taiwan is inclined to this view, and supports Taiwanese independence
Deposed governments of subnational territories
These governments in exile claim legitimacy of autonomous territories of another state and have been created by deposed governments or rulers, who do not claim independence
as a separate state.
Alternative governments of current states
These governments have been created in exile by political organisations
and opposition parties
, aspire to become actual governing authorities or claim to be legal successors to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.
Alternative separatist governments of current subnational territories
These governments have been created in exile by political organisations, opposition parties, and separatist movements, and desire to become the governing authorities of their territories as independent states, or claim to be the successor to previously deposed governments, and have been created as alternatives to incumbent governments.
Exiled governments of non-self-governing or occupied territories
These governments in exile are governments of non-self-governing
or occupied territories. They claim legitimate authority over a territory they once controlled, or claim legitimacy of a post-decolonization
authority. The claim may stem from an exiled group's election as a legitimate government.
From the Palestinian Declaration of Independence
in 1988 in exile in Algiers
by the Palestine Liberation Organization
, it has effectively functioned as the government in exile of the Palestinian State
. In 1994, however the PLO established the Palestinian National Authority
administration as result of the Oslo Accords
signed by the PLO, Israel, the United States, and Russia
. Between 1994 and 2013, the PNA functioned as an autonomy, thus while the government was seated in the West Bank
it was not sovereign. In 2013, Palestine was upgraded to a non-member state status in the UN. All of the above created an ambiguous situation, in which there are two distinct entities: The Palestinian Authority, exercising a severely limited amount of control on the ground and the State of Palestine, recognized by the United Nations and by numerous countries as a sovereign and independent state, but not able to exercise such sovereignty on the ground. Both are headed by the same person—as of February 2016, President Mahmud Abbas
—but are judicially distinct.
Exiled governments with ambiguous status
These governments have ties to the area(s) they represent, but their claimed status and/or stated aims are sufficiently ambiguous that they could fit into other categories.[original research?]
Past governments in exile
World War II
Governments in London
A large number of European governments-in-exile were set up in London.
Governments-in-exile in Asia
At the fall of Java
, and the surrender by the Dutch on behalf of Allied forces on March 8, 1942, many Dutch-Indies officials (including Dr van Mook
and Dr Charles van der Plas
) managed to flee to Australia
in March 1942, and on December 23, 1943, the Royal Government (Dutch) decreed an official Netherlands East Indies Government-in-exile
, with Dr van Mook as Acting Governor General, on Australian soil until Dutch rule was restored in the Indies.
Axis-aligned governments in exile
In the later stages of World War II, with the German Army increasingly pushed back and expelled from various countries, Axis-aligned groups from some countries set up "governments-in-exile" under the auspices of the Axis powers, in the remaining Axis territory - even though internationally recognized governments were in place in their home countries. The main purpose of these was to recruit and organize military units composed of their nationals in the host country.
Persian Gulf War
Municipal councils in exile
Following the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus
in 1974 and the displacement of many Greek Cypriots
from North Cyprus
, displaced inhabitants of several towns set up what are in effect municipal councils in exile, headed by mayors in exile. The idea is the same as with a national government in exile – to assert a continuation of legitimate rule, even though having no control of the ground, and working towards restoration of such control. Meetings of the exiled Municipal Council of Lapithos
took place in the homes of its members until the Exile Municipality was offered temporary offices at 37 Ammochostou Street, Nicosia. The current Exile Mayor of the town is Athos Eleftheriou. The same premises are shared with the Exile Municipal Council of Kythrea
Also in the Famagusta District
of Cyprus, the administration of the part retained by the Republic of Cyprus
considers itself as a "District administration in exile", since the district's capital Famagusta
had been under Turkish control since 1974.
Fictional governments in exile
- In Len Deighton's SS-GB, the UK is defeated in World War II and occupied by Germany. A British government in exile is formed, but finds it far from easy to secure international recognition. Specifically, Deighton refers to this government in exile needing to go to the US courts and wage a prolonged struggle against the London-based German-collaborating government, before securing possession of the British Embassy in Washington.
- In If Israel Lost the War by Robert Littell, Richard Z. Chesnoff and Edward Klein, Israel is defeated in the 1967 Six-Day War and its territory occupied by Arab armies. Thereupon, David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir set up an Israeli government in exile in North America.
- Algis Budrys' The Falling Torch is set in a future time when Earth was conquered and occupied by extraterrestrial humanoid invaders. Many years later, the Earth government in exile, located at a human colony planet orbiting Alpha Centauri, is holding a regular meeting in an atmosphere of dejection and futility – its hosts being indifferent to Earth's plight and unwilling to offer any real help. The Exile Prime Minister is shown more involved with his successful career as the chef of a luxury hotel than with the seemingly non-existent hope of liberating Earth. This depiction might have drawn on the writer's actual experience as a member of the exile Lithuanian community in the 1950s US, at the time seeing little hope of shaking the Soviet hold of its homeland.
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Last edited on 19 April 2021, at 13:41
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