Stephen did his undergraduate studies in Politics and History at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and went on to receive a PhD from the same institution for a thesis in democratic theory. He has taught in the history of Western political and social thought, from the Greeks through to the present. His research is currently focused on the politics of knowledge.
He taught POLS301 Power and Liberty at the University of Otago Summer School in 2014 and 2016. He was nominated for the OUSA Teaching Excellence award for Best Summer School Lecturer in 2016.