Antonio Gramsci's thought has strongly influenced the fields of IR and IPE through the work of Robert Cox, Stephen Gill, Kees van der Pijl and others, engagements often gathered (not uncontroversially) under the rubric of an ostensibly unified ‘neo-Gramscian’ position or ‘the Italian School’. The emergence of such interventions into IR/IPE has sparked controversy regarding whether Gramsci's work can be legitimately applied to ‘the international’, both from within IR and in other fields. This article examines the validity of such critiques of ‘neo-Gramscian IPE’, which we argue rely on problematic characterisations and little evidence from Gramsci's writings. More substantively, we provide an exegesis of the role of the international dimension in the construction of central categories of Gramsci's thought and his approach to nation-state formation and international organisations such as the Catholic Church and the Rotary Club, which have been regrettably neglected by all facets of these discussions. We demonstrate that Gramsci can indeed be understood as a theorist of the international, whose approach is particularly salient for the present historical conjuncture.