Stephen C. Phillips

Stephen teaching in front a whiteboard.

Stephen C. Phillips is doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Florida, focusing on American political development. His research is heavily influenced by constitutional law, history, philosophy, and political science. He also has an interest in public policy & administration and research methods, which were his secondary fields of study.

Understanding the connections between political strategy and the evolving framework of American democracy drives Stephen's research agenda. He is particularly interested in how policy entrepreneurs provoke institutional, ideational, and policy development, as well as changes in elite behavior.

Stephen's dissertation examines public policy debates on civil rights during the post-war period to study how political actors produce policy change on items long-stalled on the institutional agenda. By exploring political and organizational strategies at critical junctures, we are able to discern why some entrepreneurs succeed while others fail to achieve their policy objectives. His research agenda applies similar frameworks to debates during the Founding Era and as a pedagogical tool for students to learn elements of political strategy.

Stephen received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida in 2021. He earned his master's and bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida. Stephen previously worked on federal political campaigns as well as for an education-based labor union chapter. His experience in politics, history, and organized labor provide knowledge in political strategy and strategic communications, and peaked his interest in political action and civil rights.