Christophe Jaffrelot

Nonresident Scholar
South Asia Program
Jaffrelot’s core research focuses on theories of nationalism and democracy, mobilization of the lower castes and Dalits (ex-untouchables) in India, the Hindu nationalist movement, and ethnic conflicts in Pakistan.


PhD, Political Science, Sciences Po 
MA, History, University of Paris I–Sorbonne 
Advanced study degree, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
DULCO of Hindi at “Langues O,” The Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales
Diploma, Sciences Po


English; French; Hindi


Christophe Jaffrelot is a nonresident scholar in the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a senior research fellow at the Center for International Studies and Research (CERI) at Sciences Po in Paris. His core research focuses on theories of nationalism and democracy, mobilization of the lower castes and Dalits (ex-untouchables) in India, the Hindu nationalist movement, and ethnic conflicts in Pakistan.

He teaches at Sciences Po and part-time in the United States (Columbia, Princeton, John Hopkins, and Yale). He is also professor of Indian politics and sociology at the King’s India Institute and King’s College, London.

Previously, Jaffrelot served as director (2000–2008) and deputy director (1997–2000) of CERI. He is also former editor in chief (1998-2003) and director (2003–2008) of the quarterly journal Critique Internationale. Jaffrelot joined the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 1991 and was awarded the CNRS bronze medal in 1993. He became a CNRS senior research fellow of second class in 2002 and senior research fellow of first class in 2008. 

Jaffrelot is the author of six books including, Religion, Caste and Politics in India (Columbia University Press, 2011), and has edited seventeen volumes, including Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation? (Manohar and Zed Books, 2002).

  • Pakistani national flag
    Op-Ed Indian Express August 20, 2014
    Painted into a Corner

    If one goes by the media coverage of Imran Khan’s Azadi March from Lahore to Islamabad, one may conclude that Imran has become the leader of the Pakistani opposition. But it remains to be seen if he can overcome the obvious weaknesses of his strategy.

  • Indian national flag
    Op-Ed Indian Express May 28, 2014
    Invisible in the House

    The shrinking numbers of Muslims in the Indian Parliament is not new. But 2014 results are unprecedented.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express May 12, 2014
    Myth of Moderation

    Political scientists argue that the electoral process inevitably modernizes religious political parties. While the “moderation thesis” may have a point, it is largely irrelevant in the case of India.

  • Article March 28, 2014
    Can Arvind Kejriwal Rescue Indian Democracy?

    If anticorruption fighter Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party could force Indian officials to mend their ways, the country would be making real progress toward what it claims to be.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express March 24, 2014
    Modi of the Middle Class

    If the middle class wants Modi, a super-CEO, at the helm of India, it is because it does not idealize parliamentary democracy as much as it used to, compared to a more managerial decision-making process.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express March 5, 2014
    Soldiers of the Party

    For the Indian army to remain national, it has to be multicultural—and this problem may need to be addressed as urgently as those pertaining to arms procurement.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express February 21, 2014
    Party and the Policeman

    The mutual attraction between police officers and the BJP raises an obvious question: do BJP-ruled states have better records than others when it comes to law and order?

  • Op-Ed Indian Express January 31, 2014
    The Sultans of Pakistan

    Last month, the Election Commission of Pakistan, manifesting its independence, declared Nawaz Sharif one of the country’s richest parliamentarians and revealed his assets.

  • Op-Ed Rediff News January 17, 2014
    Congress Has Underestimated the Resentment of the People

    Manmohan Singh may, in the end, best be remembered for an economic reform that has resulted in more inequalities between the rich and the poor and between urban and village India.

  • Op-Ed Rediff News January 17, 2014
    Kejriwal Will Force Modi to Change His Electoral Campaign

    The Aam Aadmi Party has capitalised on the anti-corruption campaign of Anna Hazare in which Arvind Kejriwal played a major role, which has somewhat re-politicised the urban middle class.

  • October 11, 2013 Washington, DC
    Narendra Modi’s Experiment With the Middle Class in Gujarat

    Earlier this month, India’s opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced that Narendra Modi would be its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 national elections.

  • November 8, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    The Regionalization of Indian Politics and the Challenge of Coalition-building

    The 2009 Indian general elections saw the United Progressive Alliance gain a remarkable increase of seats in the National Assembly, but its success was largely due to the fragmentation of the party system resulting from the regionalization of Indian politics.

  • November 18, 2011 Washington, D.C.
    Containing or Engaging Pakistan? An American Dilemma

    The United States has dealt with Pakistan as a client state for more than half a century. Today, the relationship is complicated and Washington is at a crossroads: can the United States continue to engage Pakistan or has the time come for a different strategy?


India Decides 2014

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