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 September 23, 2015
    East vs West

    The RSS may now reject "Western science," but its ideology draws inspiration from the Western social sciences.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express September 3, 2015
    Dal vs State

    The Bajrang Dal has enlarged its agenda in such a way that the rule of law is at stake in India.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express August 27, 2015
    Patels and the Neo-Middle Class Syndrome

    Gujarat, the first state to fight caste-based reservations, may also be the first to reinvent the system in response to the mass mobilization of the Patidars.

  • Op-Ed Indian Express August 22, 2015
    Under the Rule of the Army

    The Pakistani government’s room to maneuver is clearly limited by the irresistible rise of the Pakistani army.

  • Going Soft
    Op-Ed Indian Express August 11, 2015
    Going Soft

    India is less popular with ordinary Americans. But this may not be a problem for U.S.-India relations if hard power considerations make up for it.

  • Indian Flag
    Op-Ed Indian Express July 21, 2015
    Who Mainstreamed BJP?

    Few analysts pay enough attention to either the phase that came before the Emergency or the phase after. Without this context, no good interpretation can emerge of the way the “political untouchability” of the Jana Sangh before the 1970s was attenuated.

  • Mumbai Construction
    Op-Ed Indian Express June 29, 2015
    Indian Direct Investment

    The paradox is striking: While India has been trying to attract FDI, Indian companies are investing abroad.

  • Nawaz Sharif
    Op-Ed Economic Times June 12, 2015
    India Needs to Try Again and Again to Resolve Issues with Pakistan

    The Indian government cannot ignore Pakistan, given its size, its military capability, its history of conflict, and its connection to China.

  • Arvind Kejriwal and supporters
    Op-Ed Indian Express June 4, 2015
    Holes in the Government

    Vacancies are hurting important institutions in India.

  • 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?

  • 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?


India Decides 2014

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