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).

  • Indian Farmer
    Op-Ed Indian Express May 18, 2015
    The Promised Land

    India needs to industrialize, but can it do so at the expense of its food security?

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 30, 2015
    Saying No to a Friend

    The implications of the Pakistani refusal to help Saudi Arabia in Yemen should not be underestimated.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express April 16, 2015
    Not a Zero Sum Game

    Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s upcoming visit to India will not resemble those of his predecessor. In contrast to Hamid Karzai, the new Afghan president does not seem to have the image of a great friend of India.

  • Indian Child
    Op-Ed Indian Express March 23, 2015
    So Who Needs Reservations?

    The Supreme Court has made an important point about positive discrimination in India.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express March 9, 2015
    Caste and the Parivar

    The Sangh Parivar has traditionally been hostile to caste-based reservations, but the BJP has been less categorically hostile to quota politics because it could not risk alienating voters who valued reservations.

  • Pakistani Soldiers
    Op-Ed Indian Express February 17, 2015
    The Peshawar Effect

    Instead of weakening the army and dissuading it from fighting, the attack on the Peshawar military school has reinforced the military’s position in Pakistan and its determination to take on at least some militants.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express January 15, 2015
    In, and Out, of the Ghetto

    The socio-economic situation of India’s largest minority translates differently in different cities, because the standard of living is not the only variable to consider when trying to explain the urban geography of a community.

  • Modi performing prayer
    Op-Ed Indian Express January 7, 2015
    ‘Reconversion’ Paradoxes

    The BJP has a majority in the Lok Sabha, which could enable it to revisit the subject of outlawing conversion in the context of an increasingly adverse attitude towards Christianity.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express December 26, 2014
    Coming Out of the Cold

    A relaunch of U.S.-India relations may affect the U.S.-Pakistan equation.

  • Indian PM Modi
    Op-Ed Indian Express December 1, 2014
    Parivar’s Diversity in Unity

    Every sector of society is now represented in the Sangh Parivar, and their perspectives may not necessarily converge with the government’s policies.

  • 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?


India Decides 2014

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