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 was occupied by Germany, 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. Exiled governments tend to occur during wartime occupation or in the aftermath of a civil war, revolution, or military coup. For example, during German expansion in World War II, some European governments sought refuge in the United Kingdom, rather than face destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany. On the other hand, the Provisional Government of Free India proclaimed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose sought to use support from the invading Japanese to gain control of the country from what it viewed as British occupiers. A government in exile may also form from widespread belief in the illegitimacy of a ruling government. Due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, for instance, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed by groups whose members sought to end the rule of the ruling Ba'ath Party. 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. The phenomenon of a government in exile predates the formal utilization of the term. In periods of monarchical government, exiled monarchs or dynasties sometimes set up exile courts—as the House of Stuart did when driven from their throne by Oliver Cromwell and again at the Glorious Revolution (see ). The House of Bourbon would be another example because it continued to be recognized by other countries at the time as the legitimate government of France after it was overthrown by the populace during the French Revolution. This continued to last through the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Napoleonic Wars from 1803–04 to 1815. With the spread of constitutional monarchy, monarchical governments which were exiled started to include a prime minister, such as the Dutch government during World War II headed by Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy.


International law recognizes that governments in exile may undertake many types of actions in the conduct of their daily affairs. These actions include: * becoming a party to a bilateral or international treaty * amending or revising its own constitution * maintaining military forces * retaining, or newly obtaining, diplomatic recognition from other states * issuing identity cards * allowing the formation of new political parties * holding elections In cases where a host country holds a large expatriate population from a government in exile's home country, or an ethnic population from that country, the government in exile might come to exercise some administrative functions within such a population. For example, the WWII Provisional Government of Free India had such authority among the ethnically Indian population of British Malaya, with the consent of the then Japanese military authorities.

Current governments in exile

Governments in exile may have little or no recognition from other states. Some exiled governments have some characteristics in common with rump states. Such disputed or partially in exile cases are noted in the tables below.

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, Bhutan, India, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, 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. The United Nations recognizes the right of self-determination for the population of these territories, including the possibility of establishing independent sovereign states. 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 interim territorial 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.

Past governments in exile

World War II

Many countries established a government in exile after loss of sovereignty in connection with World War II.

Governments in London

A large number of European governments-in-exile were set up in London. {| class="wikitable" |- !Name !Leaders |- | Belgian government in exile | Prime Minister: Hubert Pierlot |- | Czechoslovak government-in-exile | |- | Free France | Charles de Gaulle, Henri Giraud, French Committee of National Liberation (from 1943) |- | Greek government-in-exile | {{plainlist| *King George II *Prime Minister: Emmanouil Tsouderos {{smaller|(1941–1944), Sofoklis Venizelos {{smaller|(1944), Georgios Papandreou {{smaller|(1944–1945) |- | {{flagicon|Luxembourg Luxembourg government in exile | {{plainlist| *Grand Duchess Charlotte *Prime Minister: Pierre Dupong |- | {{flagicon|Netherlands Dutch government-in-exile | {{plainlist| *Queen Wilhelmina *Prime Minister: Dirk Jan de Geer {{smaller|(1940), Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy {{smaller|(1940–1945) |- | {{flagicon|Norway Norwegian government-in-exile | {{plainlist| *King Haakon VII *Prime Minister: Johan Nygaardsvold |- | {{flagicon|Poland Polish government-in-exile | {{| *President: Władysław Raczkiewicz *Prime Minister: Władysław Sikorski {{smaller|(1939–1943), Stanisław Mikołajczyk {{smaller|(1943–1944), Tomasz Arciszewski {{smaller|(1944–1945) |- | {{flagicon|Kingdom of Yugoslavia Yugoslav government-in-exile | {{plainlist| *King Peter II *Prime Minister: Dušan Simović {{smaller|(1941–1942), Slobodan Jovanović {{smaller|(1942–1943), Miloš Trifunović {{smaller|(1943), Božidar Purić {{smaller|(1943–1944), Ivan Šubašić {{smaller|(1944–1945) |- | Unrecognised groups | {{plainlist| *Austrian Democratic Union *Danish Freedom Council *Free Thai Movement Other exiled leaders in Britain in this time included King Zog of Albania and Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Occupied Denmark did not establish a government in exile, although there was an Association of Free Danes established in London. The government remained in Denmark and functioned with relative independence until August 1943 when it was dissolved, placing Denmark under full German occupation. Meanwhile, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were occupied by the Allies and effectively separated from the Danish crown. (See British occupation of the Faroe Islands, Iceland during World War II, and History of Greenland during World War II.)

Governments-in-exile in Asia

The Philippine Commonwealth (invaded December 9, 1941) established a government in exile, initially located in Australia and later in the United States. Earlier, in 1897, the Hong Kong Junta was established as a government in exile by the Philippine revolutionary Republic of Biak-na-Bato. While formed long before World War II, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea continued in exile in China until the end of the war. 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.Lockwood, R. (1975). ''Black Armada and the Struggle for Indonesian Independence, 1942–49''. Australasian Book Society Ltd., Sydney, Australia. {{Listed Invalid ISBN|9 09916 68 3

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. {| class="wikitable" !Name !Exiled or created(*) since !Defunct, reestablished,(*) or integrated(°) since !State that controlled its claimed territory !Notes !References |- |{{Flagdeco|Bulgaria Kingdom of Bulgaria |September 16, 1944* |May 10, 1945 |{{Flagdeco|Bulgaria Kingdom of Bulgaria (Fatherland Front) |Formed after the 1944 Bulgarian coup d'état brought socialists to power in Bulgaria, the government was based on Vienna and headed by Aleksandar Tsankov. It raised the 1st Bulgarian Regiment of the SS. | |- |{{Flagdeco|France|1794 Sigmaringen Governmental Commission |September 7, 1944* |April 23, 1945° |{{Flagdeco|France|1794 Provisional Government of the French Republic |Members of the collaborationist French cabinet at Vichy were relocated by the Germans to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where they became a government-in-exile until April 1945. They were given formal governmental power over the city of Sigmaringen, and the three Axis governments – Germany, Italy and Japan – established there what were officially their Embassies to France. Pétain having refused to take part in this, it was headed by Fernand de Brinon. | |- |{{Flagicon image|Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Hungarian Government of National Unity |28/29 March 1945 |May 7, 1945 |{{Flagicon image|Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovak Republic
{{Flagicon image|Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Kingdom of Hungary
{{Flagdeco|Romania Kingdom of Romania
{{Flagicon image|Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia |The Szálasi government fled in the face of the Soviet advance through Hungary. It was first based on Vienna and then Munich. Most of its leaders were arrested in the following months, in the aftermath of final Allied victory. |- |{{Flagicon image|Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg Hellenic State |September 1944 |April 1945 |{{Flagicon image|State Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1973).svg Kingdom of Greece |After the liberation of Greece, a new collaborationist government had been established at Vienna, during September 1944, formed by former collaborationist ministers. It was headed by the former collaborationist minister Ektor Tsironikos. In April 1945, Tsironikos was captured during the Vienna offensive along with his ministers. |- |{{Flagdeco|Romania Legionary Romania |August, 1944 |May 8, 1945 |{{Flagdeco|Romania Kingdom of Romania |Germany had imprisoned Horia Sima and other members of the Iron Guard following the Legionnaires' rebellion of 1941. In 1944, King Michael's Coup brought a pro-Allied government to power in Romania. In response Germany released Sima to establish a pro-Axis government in exile in Vienna. |- |{{Flagicon image|Flag of Montenegro (1905–1918, 1941–1944).svg Montenegrin State Council |Summer of 1944 |May 8, 1945 |{{Flagicon image|Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg Kingdom of Yugoslavia |After the Germans withdrew from Montenegro, the fascist leader Sekula Drljević created a government-in-exile based on Zagreb, capital of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). Drljević created the Montenegrin National Army, a military force set up by him and the Croatian fascist leader Ante Pavelić. However, his government was dissolved after the fall of the NDH. |- |{{Flagicon image|Flag of First Slovak Republic 1939-1945.svg Slovak Republic |April 4, 1945 |May 8, 1945 |{{Flagicon image|Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czechoslovak Republic |The government of the Slovak Republic, led by Jozef Tiso, went into exile on 4 April 1945 to the Austrian town of Kremsmünster when the Red Army captured Bratislava and occupied Slovakia. The exiled government capitulated to the American General Walton Walker on 8 May 1945 in Kremsmünster. In summer 1945, the captured members of the government were handed over to Czechoslovak authorities. |- |{{Flagdeco|Azad Hind Provisional Government of Free India |October 21, 1943* |August 18, 1945 |{{Flagdeco|British RajBritish Raj |India's First Independent Government in exile to fight with and get territorial independence from British-Raj. It was based in Rangoon and later in Port Blair. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the leader of the government and the Head of State of this provisional Indian government in exile, established in Singapore but later given control of Japanese-controlled territory in far eastern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indian Government has also issued its currency notes and started establishing bilateral relationships with anti-British countries. Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army INA was official military of Government of India led by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This government was disestablished in 1945 following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II. INA kept fighting for independence of India, which led to create revolt by Indian Navy against British Govt in India and that forced British to think about leaving India. |- |{{flag|Second Philippine Republic|Second Philippine Republic in exile |June 11, 1945 |August 17, 1945 |{{Flagdeco|Commonwealth of the Philippines Philippine Commonwealth |After the Allied forces liberated the Philippines from Japanese occupiers and the reestablishment of the Philippine Commonwealth in the archipelago after a few years in exile in the United States, the Second Philippine Republic became a nominal government-in-exile from June 11, 1945 based in Nara / Tokyo. The government was later dissolved on August 17, 1945.{{cite book |title= Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 1 |last= Ooi |first=Keat Gin |year= 2004 |publisher= ABC-CLIO |location= Santa Barbara, California |isbn= 978-1-57607-770-2 |page= 776 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=QKgraWbb7yoC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false |access-date= January 27, 2011 |align=center| |- | {{Flagdeco|Independent State of Croatia Croatian Government in exile | April 10, 1951 | ? | {{Flag|Yugoslavia | Many former members of the Government of the Independent State of Croatia fled to Argentina. From there they created a government in exile. |

Persian Gulf War

Following the Ba'athist Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, during the Persian Gulf War, on August 2, 1990, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and senior members of his government fled to Saudi Arabia, where they set up a government-in-exile in Ta'if.http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1990-08-24/news/9008240543_1_saad-kuwait-government-in-exile The Kuwaiti government in exile was far more affluent than most other such governments, having full disposal of the very considerable Kuwaiti assets in western banks—of which it made use to conduct a massive propaganda campaign denouncing the Ba'athist Iraqi occupation and mobilizing public opinion in the Western world in favor of war with Ba'athist Iraq. In March 1991, following the defeat of Ba'athist Iraq at the hands of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, the Sheikh and his government were able to return to Kuwait.

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

Works of alternate history as well as science fictional depictions of the future sometimes include 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.

See also

* Exclusive mandate * Exilarch * Provisional government * Shadow Cabinet * Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization


* Lists of active separatist movements * List of historical separatist movements * List of historical unrecognized states and dependencies * List of territorial disputes * List of states with limited recognition * United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories



Further reading

*{{cite book |editor1-last=Vít |editor1-first=Smetana |editor2-last=Kathleen |editor2-first=Geaney |title=Exile in London: The Experience of Czechoslovakia and the Other Occupied Nations, 1939–1945 |date=2018 |publisher=Charles University in Prague, Karolinum Press |isbn=978-80-246-3701-3 |language=en * {{Cite book|url=http://governmentsinexile.com/yapoucontents.html|title=Governments in Exile, 1939–1945|last=Yapou|first=Eliezer|year=1998|access-date=October 9, 2016 {{Authority control {{DEFAULTSORT:Government In Exile Category:Exile organizations