Serbia proper

From Academic Kids

The term "Serbia proper" is often used in English to refer to the part of Serbia that lies outside the northern and southern autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. According to the Library of Congress, it denotes "the part of the Republic of Serbia not including the provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo; the ethnic and political core of the Serbian state." [1] (http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/yugoslavia/yu_glos.html) It has also been used to differentiate the whole of Serbia (including the autonomous provinces) from the Serbian statelets in Croatia and Bosnia.

Its use in English is purely geographical without any particular political meaning being implied. It has been used most often by the (non-Serbian) English-language media but also by the United Nations, English-language reports by the Serbian media and even on occasion by the Serbian government. Its usage crosses political boundaries, with both pro- and anti-Serbian groups employing it.

The term is deprecated by some, apparently on the basis that it implies a distinction between Serbia and its autonomous provinces – a proposition rejected by advocates of Serbian territorial unity. The region of "Serbia proper" is not an administrative division and is called "Central Serbia" in the country itself (for example by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia). However, the usage was apparently also employed in Serbo-Croatian during the Yugoslav era, in the form of "uža Srbija".

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