Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann (née Sebastian Volkmann) is a post-doctoral researcher in Philosophy and Applied Ethics. He works at the University of Freiburg’s Centre for Security and Society and Husserl Archive, where he has been part of the research staff since Mai 2012. As part of the EU FP7 project XP-DITE, he has developed a framework for the ethical evaluation of airport checkpoints. Currently, he is Administrative Manager of the Centre for Security and Society and involved in establishing the tri-national graduate academy SERIOR. Furthermore, he is part of the research and teaching staff at Freiburg’s Department of Philosophy.

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General information

Contact details:

Email: sebastian.volkmann(at)
Telephone: +49 (0)761 203 – 97727
Address: Werthmannstr. 15, D-79098 Freiburg, Germany

Academic profile

Since 1. Mai 2012, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann (née Sebastian Volkmann) has been working at the University of Freiburg’s Husserl Archive and Centre for Security and Society. Since October 2017, he is a member of the regular teaching and research staff at the Department of Philosophy.

Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann was involved in a range of applied ethical research projects in the field of civil security provision. In the EU FP7 project SURVEILLE, he conducted research on the ethical and perceptive dimensions of surveillance technology (Mai-August 2012). From September 2012 to August 2017, he developed a typology and ethical evaluation framework for airport checkpoints as part of the EU FP7 project XP-DITE. One of the major goals of this research was to provide guidance on ethical and societal aspects in the design process of airport checkpoints, especially on the protection of fundamental rights and privacy. From October 2015 to September 2017, he has accompanied the development of an innovative, privacy respecting solution for THz body scanners as part of the EU FP7 project TeraSCREEN.

Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann has completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hans-Helmuth Gander. His thesis has the title “Fluggastkontrollen. Sozialethische Konfliktlinien und deren Bearbeitung aus moralpragmatischer Perspektive” (“Airport Passenger Security Screening. Pragmatic Guidelines for Identifying and Addressing Ethical and Societal Issues”). For his thesis, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann was awarded the Wetzstein Award for Philosophy 2017.

Main research interests

  • Applied Ethics in the field of civil security
  • Philosophy of Technology and Technology Assessment (TA)
  • Mechanisms of surveillance and control
  • Theory of democracy
  • Epistemology and meta-ethics
  • Classical American Pragmatism and Hermeneutics

Science management

For an interim period from December 2017 to May 2018, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann takes the position of Administrative Manager of the University of Freiburg’s Centre for Security and Society, a position he already had for an earlier interim period from November 2015 to March 2016. Since April 2016, he is involved in establishing the tri-national graduate academy “Security – Risk – Orientation” (SERIOR).

Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann has extensive experience in European research project management. He was responsible for financial and administrative management of the Centre for Security and Society’s participation in the EU FP7 projects XP-DITE and TeraSCREEN. In both projects, he coordinated European partners as a work package leader for the ethics related research tasks.

Academic background

Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann finished his university degree (“Staatsexamen für Lehramt an Gymnasien”, state examination equivalent to M.A. degree) in 2011 with distinction. He majored in Philosophy and English Literature and Linguistics; additionally he majored in Political Science. His thesis has the title “Hannah Arendt und “der Diskurs”. Zum Verhältnis von Macht und Gewalt” (“Hannah Arendt and hegemonic discourses. On the relation of power and violence”). From 2007 onwards, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann was awarded a study scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation for outstanding academic performance.

Before working as a researcher at the Husserl Archive and at the Centre for Security and Society, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann worked as a graduate assistant in the research project “Universality and Acceptance Potential of Social Science Knowledge”. Furthermore, he worked as an IT assistant for the University of Freiburg’s Frankreich-Zentrum. As a university student, he worked as a student assistant for Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rüland, chair for International Politics. For several semesters, he held tutorial courses for introductory lectures and seminars at the Department for Political Science. In addition to that, Sebastian Weydner-Volkmann taught a tutorial course the lecture of Prof. Dr. Maarten J.F.M. Hoenen on “Theories of Proof” in the summer term 2009.