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ethnic Albanians, Balkan Peninsula, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, landlocked country, autonomy

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Serbia (Serbian Srbija), republic in southeastern Europe, located on the Balkan Peninsula. Serbia is a landlocked country. Its northern half comprises a broad, low-lying agricultural plain receiving the waters of the mighty Danube. The country’s southern half is mostly hilly and mountainous. Ethnic Serbs make up about two-thirds of Serbia’s population, although ethnic Albanians constitute a majority in the southern province of Kosovo. Serbia’s capital and largest city is Belgrade.

From 1946 to 1991 Serbia was part of a larger federal state of Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and five other republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia. That Yugoslav state broke apart in 1991, when several of the republics declared their independence. In 1992 Serbia and Montenegro proclaimed themselves the successor state to the former Yugoslavia and took the name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The FRY adopted a new constitutional charter in 2003 that gave the constituent republics more autonomy and changed the country’s name from the FRY to Serbia and Montenegro. This union dissolved in June 2006 when Serbia and Montenegro became separate, independent nations.

Since 1999 the province of Kosovo in southern Serbia has been administered by the United Nations (UN). The UN administration was established after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted a campaign of air strikes against the FRY amid interethnic violence between Serbs and Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority.


For younger readers

Milivojevic, JoAnn. Serbia. Rev. ed. Children's Press, 2003. For readers in grades 5 to 9.

Ricciuti, Edward R. War in Yugoslavia: Breakup of a Nation. Millbrook, 1994. For middle school and high school readers.

Ross, Stewart. The War in Kosovo. Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2000. For readers in grades 4 to 7.


Blagojevic, Ljiljana. Modernism in Serbia: The Elusive Margins of Belgrade Architecture, 1919-1941. MIT Press, 2003. A description of buildings in Belgrade as an expression of the modern movement in Serbia.

Cox, John K. The History of Serbia. Greenwood, 2002. A concise overview of Serbian history, from the Middle Ages to the present.

Handke, Peter. A Journey to the Rivers: Justice for Serbia. Trans. Scott Abbott. Viking, 1997. An Austrian writer's efforts to untangle the ethnic conflicts of the region.

Judah, Tim. The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Yale University Press, 1997, 2000. Focuses on the previous 100 years of Serbian history.

LeBor, Adam. Milosevic: A Biography. Yale University Press, 2004. A biography of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia's former president and the only head of state ever to be tried for genocide.


Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

ethnic Albanians, Balkan Peninsula, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, landlocked country, autonomy, Serbs, Belgrade, southeastern Europe, NATO, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Montenegro, largest city, United Nations, FRY, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, capital, Bosnia, Herzegovina, union, population, republic, independence, administration, country, waters, majority, June

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