Our reply focuses on three key themes raised in the symposium. First, we discuss an enduring issue in Marxist International Relations: ‘the problematic of the international’ and the problems of methodological internalism. We examine how our interlocutors have responded to this problematic and why we consider these responses insufficient. Specifically, we suggest that the source of our disagreement is grounded in two divergent understandings of the problem of internalism itself. We then reassert the value of our chosen response to the problematic – uneven and combined development (UCD). Second, we respond to the criticism that our extension of UCD as a ‘transmodal’ general abstraction is problematic by further explicating the significance and role of general abstractions in Marxist theory – a point yet addressed by our critics. Finally, we return to the fundamental question at the core of the transition debate: what is capitalism and how do we theorise it?