Contract or Treaty? The Daʿʿan Agreement of 1911 and the limits on Imam Yahya’s authority

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A seminal flashpoint in the scholarly discussion of the post-1872 relationship between the Ottoman empire and its province of Yemen is the Daʿʿan Agreement of 1911. Previous scholarship studying this agreement and its historical context insists that the Ottoman government conceded administrative authority to Imām Yaḥyā Ḥamīd al-Dīn bordering on independence across a vast portion of the Province of Yemen. This study asserts otherwise. The devolution bestowed upon him was far more limited, and the Ottoman authorities never treated him as a leader on equal footing with them. They granted autonomy solely on a contractual basis which could be annulled by the authorizing party, not by a treaty to be adhered to by all contracting parties. The article examines the relations between Imām Yaḥyā and the Ottoman Government beginning with the Zaydī leader’s de facto control over the Jibāl, or the highlands within Upper Yemen. It focuses on the preparations and implementation for the contract of Daʿʿan and discusses Imām Yaḥyā’s status following the contract and the nature of his authority over the region delimited by this agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-46
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Arabian Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Imām Yaḥyā
  • Ottoman Yemen
  • Zaydīs


Dive into the research topics of 'Contract or Treaty? The Daʿʿan Agreement of 1911 and the limits on Imam Yahya’s authority'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this