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In the past two decades, there has been a significant rediscovery of the covenantal basis of Judaism in most if not all contemporary Jewish intellectual circles, and the literature dealing with covenant and its implications has grown accordingly.The thrust of this effort has been theological in character and properly so.
The Hebrew term brit signifies a covenant, usually meant to be perpetual between parties having independent but not necessarily equal status, that provides for joint action or obligation to achieve defined ends (limited or comprehensive) under conditions of mutual respect, in such a way as to protect the integrity of all parties involved.
The basis of that political tradition is to be found in the biblical idea of covenant and in the political principles and processes which flow from it.
The biblical political teaching as manifest in the Jewish political tradition is an important political teaching for Jews and non-Jews alike and has been so recognized throughout the Western world.
The Hebrew language describes the difference succinctly.
The relationships in the first instance were between ba'alei brit (literally, masters of the covenant), or partners in a particular international agreement, while in the second they involved bnei brit (literally, sons of the covenant), or partners in a common entity created by covenant.