Dr. Sebastian Sevignani

Sebastian is a sociologist and media and communication scientist working in the field of general and theoretical sociology at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena; he studied at the University of Salzburg and received his PhD on a thesis about the contradictions of privacy in digital capitalism. As part of his habilitation project, he is conducting integrative research on labor and communication within digital capitalism. Research stays and fellowships have led him to Uppsala, Roskilde, and London to the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies, among others. He has held several interims in media management and media economics as well as media systems and media organization at the University of Paderborn. His research focuses on theories of capitalism and activity, digitalization processes, intellectual property, the structural transformation of the public sphere and privacy, political economy of media & communication, and a critical theory of human needs.

A picture of Dr. Sebastian Sevignani.



  • Theine, Hendrik, and Sevignani, Sebastian (eds.) (forth.): “Media Property and Media Ownership: Current Challenges”, Special Issue of European Journal of Communication. (2024).
  • Theine, Hendrik, and Sevignani, Sebastian (eds.) (forth.): “Media Property: New Explorations in Media and Communication Studies”, Special Section of International Journal of Communication. (2024).
  • Sevignani, Sebastian, Mandy Tröger, and  Hendrik Theine (forth.): “Towards Media Environment Capture: A Theoretical Contribution on the Influence of Big Tech on News Media”, In: International Journal of Communication, Forthcoming in the Special Section on Media Property: New Explorations in Media and Communication Studies. (2024).
  • Heiland, Heiner, Martin Seeliger, und Sebastian Sevignani (2023): “The Proletarian Public Sphere Revisited: Conceptual Propositions on the Structural Transformation of Publics in Labour Policy”, In: Philosophy & Social Criticism. Online First, DOI: 10.1177/01914537231206463.
  • Kempf, V.; Sevignani, S.; Fraser, N. (2023): “Capitalism and Contested Publicity. A Conversation with Nancy Fraser”, In: Philosophy & Social Criticism, Online First, DOI: 10.1177/01914537231203555.
  • Carstensen, Tanja, Simon Schaupp, and Sebastian Sevignani (eds.) (2023): Theorien des digitalen Kapitalismus. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
  • Reitz, Tilman, Sevignani, Sebastian, van den Ecker, Marlen (2023): “Zur Dialektik von Öffnung und Schließung – Ökonomie, Recht und Praxis immaterieller Güter”, In: Tanja Carstensen, Simon Schaupp, und Sebastian Sevignani (eds.): Theorien des digitalen Kapitalismus, Berlin: Suhrkamp, S.264-84.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian (2023): “Ideology and Simultaneously More than Mere Ideology: On Habermas’ Reflections and Hypotheses on a Further Structural Transformation of the Political Public Sphere”, In: Constellations 30 (1): 84–91. DOI: doi.org/10.1111/1467-8675.12666.
  • Theine, Hendrik, Tröger, Mandy, Sevignani, Sebastian (2023): “Wer beherrscht die Medien? Zur Einfassung des Journalismus durch Technologiekonzerne”, In: Öffentlichkeit, edited by the Otto-Brenner-Stiftung (pp. 41-64). Frankfurt am Main. 
  • Sevignani, Sebastian (2022a): “Digital Transformations and the Ideological Formation of the Public Sphere: Hegemonic, Populist, or Popular Communication?”, In: Theory, Culture & Society 39 (4): 91–109. DOI: 10.1177/02632764221103516
  • Sevignani, Sebastian (2022b): “Critical Political Economy”, In: Krone, Jan, Pellegrini, Tassilo (eds.) Handbook of Media and Communication Economics: A European Perspective, Berlin: Springer. 1–38. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-34048-3_3-2
  • Sevignani, Sebastian (2022c): “Digital Labour and Prosumption under Capitalism”, In: Butollo, Florian, Nuss, Sabine (eds.): Marx and the Robots: Networked Production, AI, and Human Labour, London: Pluto, 228–241. 
  • Seeliger, Martin, und Sebastian Sevignani (2022): “A New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere? An Introduction”, In: Theory, Culture & Society 39 (4): 3–16. DOI: 10.1177/02632764221109439
  • Seeliger, Martin, und Sebastian Sevignani (eds.) (2021): Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit?, Bd. 37. Sonderband der Zeitschrift Leviathan. Baden-Baden: Nomos


  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Introductory Talk: Property and Media - Theoretical Considerations and Possible Future Trajectories. Talk at the European Journal of Communication Symposium on media property. Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. September 29, 2023. (together with Hendrik Theine):
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Thinking beyond traditional political economic paradigms: Making a case for media environment capture. Talk at the IAMCR 2023, Panel “Funding Public Interest Journalism through Tech Giants’ resources: comparing debates and solutions around the world”. Sciences Po Lyon, France. July 12, 2023. (together with Hednrik Theine and Mandy Tröger).
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Zur politischen Ökonomie von Twitter [On the Political Economy of Twitter]. Talk at the project course “e-history: Historiker:innen auf twitter”, Department of History. Bielefeld University, Germany. April 24, 2023.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Algorithmen und Eigentum: Zur Entfremdung digitaler Tätigkeiten im Informationsraum [Algorithms and Property: On the Alienation of Digital Activities in Information Space]. Talk at Lecture Series of Institute of Media Studies, Paderborn University, Germany. November 8, 2022.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian and Simon Schaupp. Dem Digitalen Kapitalismus auf der Spur: Einleitung ins Panel. [Tracking Digital Capitalism: Introduction to the panel]. Talk at the 41th Congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS), Bielefeld University, Germany. September 29, 2022.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian and Marlen van den Ecker.  Geistiges Eigentum und funktionale Äquivalente im Digitalen Kapitalismus. [Intellectual property and functional equivalents in Digital Capitalism]. Talk at the 41th Congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS), Bielefeld University, Germany. September 28, 2022.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Warum der Plattformkapitalismus kein Dateneigentum braucht … und wenn es eines gäbe, sich auch nichts ändern würde [Why platform capitalism doesn’t need property in data ... and if there was such propetty nothing would change]. Interdisciplinary conference “Data Society”, panel on ethical questions of digitalisation „Who owns our data?”, Paderborn University, Germany. September 22, 2022.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Digitaler Kapitalismus. Einführung in exemplarische Zeitdiagnosen. [Digital Capitalism: Introduction to exemplary dignaoses of the times] Keynote talk at the conference  “Bildung und digitaler Kapitalismus”, Akademie für Kulturelle Bildung, Remscheid, Germany. June 20, 2022.
  • Sevignani, Sebastian. Ökonomische und kulturelle funktionale Äquivalente zum Dateneigentum [Economic and Cultural Functional Equivalents to Data Property]. Talk at the conference of Netzwerk Kritische Kommunikationswissenschaft, Department of Economics, WU Vienna, Austria, May 14, 2021.


  • Sevignani, Sebastian (together with Hendrik Theine). Organisation and host of European Journal of Communication (EJC) Symposium on media property. Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. September 29, 2023.
  • Co-Organisation of Ad-Hoc-Group “Polarisierungsdynamiken im digitalen Kapitalismus: Auf dem Weg von unterschiedlichen Zeitdiagnosen zu einer theoretischen Synthese?” at the 41th Congress of the German Sociological Association (DGS), Bielefeld University, Germany. September 29, 2022.
  • Co-Organisation of the workshop “The Materiality of Immaterial Goods”, SFB 294, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, June 23-24, 2022 [invited discussants: Alexander Peukert, Cicilia Ricap, Parminder Seeth Singh, Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Stefano Zacchiroli, Susanne Draheim/Kai von Luck, Stefano Zacchiroli, Philipp Staab, Barbara Brandl, Tobias Kämpf]
  • Co-Organisation of the conference of the Netzwerk Kritische Kommunikationswissenschaft “Eigentum, Medien, Öffentlichkeit”. WU Wien, Austria, May 12-14, 2022.