WE have attempted to give a general account of Belfast politics, historical and contemporary, which would serve in a sense as a terminal description of a system of some antiquity now about to disappear. This purpose has been fulfilled by the discussions of Belfast development and of political behaviour and attitudes in 1966, which form the staple of previous chapters. Inevitably, a major concern has been with religious tensions, violence and intransigence, since these constitute the salient feature of politics in the city. Our chapters have increasingly focused on possible causes of such phenomena, the centrality of which have become more apparent as our analysis, and events, unfolded. The purpose of these Conclusions is to interpret our findings on the correlates of political instability in Belfast, in order to provide an integrated explanation of contemporary events.
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