Sean McNelis

Focus/interest: Functional Collaboration; Economics; Integration of the social sciences

Academic qualifications: PhD (Swinburne University of Technology); Master of Arts (Research) (Swinburne University of Technology); Bachelor of Theology (Melbourne College of Divinity); Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (La Trobe University)

Current position: Part-time Researcher, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology

Link to personal website

Contact: Click here to email Sean

Biography: Sean has over 30 years experience in housing management, housing policy and housing research. In the 1980s, he worked as a housing manager living on a high-rise public housing estate in Melbourne and as a community development worker managing and developing different types of housing organisations (emergency housing services, housing information and referral services, housing co-operatives and tenant organisations). Sean was also a founding member, director and tenant of a small housing co-operative.

In the 1990s and early 200s, he worked as housing policy worker for community organisations, researching and advocating for better housing policies and for the development of social housing.

Since 2002, Sean has been at Swinburne University of Technology where he has worked as a research fellow and part-time housing researcher and, also completed his doctorate. He has undertaken a range of research projects for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) (, for local government and for other organisations.

In recent years, his work has focused on Functional Collaboration, economics and developing an integrated heuristic for housing studies.

Key Lonergan-related publications

(2014) Making Progress in Housing: A Framework for Collaborative Research, Routledge, Abingdon

(2020) “The Eight Enduring Challenges in Housing Studies – on Explanations, an Integrated Comprehensive Heuristic and Implementation: Some Comments on Mark Stephen’s Article“, Housing, Theory and Society, 37(5), pp.578-583

(2016) “Researching Housing in a Global Context: New Directions in Some Critical Issues“, Housing, Theory and Society, 33(4), pp.403-423

(2019) ‘Housing in a Sane Global Economy – Starting Economics: Again!‘, a paper delivered to the Australasian Housing Research Conference 2019, Adelaide

(2016) “Science in the Service of the Eschaton“, Gesher, 5(2), pp.68-75

(2016) “Housing Policies in and on the Mode of the Sixth Functional Specialty“, in P Brown and J Duffy (eds), Seeding Global Collaboration, Axial Publishing, Vancouver, pp.129-148

(2011) “Lonergan’s Economic Theory: A Template Which Challenges Current Social and Economic Research“, in N Ormerod, R Koning and D Braithwaite (eds), Fifty Years of Insight: Bernard Lonergan’s Contribution to Philosophy and Theology, ATF Theology, Adelaide, pp.175-204

(2010) “A Prelude to (Lonergan’s) Economics“, The Lonergan Review, 2(1), pp.107-120