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. He was awarded the 2014 Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism in commentary/interpretive writing.

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).

  • Op-Ed Indian Express May 10, 2016
    Laws Prescribing Educational Qualifications for Contesting Elections Are Undemocratic

    Two BJ-ruled states, Haryana and Rajasthan, have altered the electoral law governing local bodies in a manner that was unprecedented in India but which has not received a lot of attention.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 29, 2016
    India’s Jobless Growth Is Undermining Its Ability to Reap the Demographic Dividend

    The last quarterly survey by the Labour Bureau showed that India has not created so few jobs since the survey started in 2009.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 14, 2016
    Ambedkar Against Nationalism

    For B.R. Ambedkar, human dignity mattered more than nationalism.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 11, 2016
    Misremembering an Icon

    Bhagat Singh believed neither in religion nor violence.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 1, 2016
    The Facade of Democracy

    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is allowing the army to rule without governing.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express February 23, 2016
    Why Jats Want a Quota

    The mobilization of Jats, Marathas, and Patels, all dominant castes in India, describes something important about structural problems in the Indian economy.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express February 18, 2016
    Dalits Still Left Out

    Anti-Dalit attitudes are on the rise.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express January 29, 2016
    Decoding Rawalpindi

    Does Masood Azhar’s “protective custody” reflect a new policy at the top of the Pakistan army?

  • Op-Ed Indian Express January 12, 2016
    This Land, This Nation

    Akhand Bharat is a mainstay of Hindu nationalism, because land plays a key role in its ideology.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express December 26, 2015
    Which Ambedkar?

    All kinds of public figures use B.R. Ambedkar to defend their actions and beliefs. But what did he say, really?

  • Columbia University Press April 19, 2016
    Pakistan at the Crossroads

    There is a growing consensus among Pakistani state leaders that the nation’s main security threats may come not from India but from its spiraling internal conflicts.

  • October 8, 2015 Washington, DC
    The Pakistan Paradox: Who Rules the Country Today?

    Nearly seven decades after the Partition of the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan faces a daunting series of existential challenges ranging from ethnic strife to Islamism and terrorism.

  • October 17, 2014 Washington, DC
    Modi’s Transformative Moment?

    The first 100 days of a new government can be tumultuous as power shifts hands and leaders make dramatic decisions. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thus far proceeded in a more nuanced fashion, making an assessment of his first four months in office more complicated.

  • 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?


Areas of Expertise

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