This article advances an account of “the international” in which “juridical life” is taken as the dominant ethic and ultimately the force of “the international” within the discipline of international relations. It evaluates the foundational myths of international politics in terms of its capacity to exercise juridical power, in the service of the state as a geopolitical entity. It examines the ethics of doing “the international” and how rationalities of the international are contained within legalist rationalities of international politics. Drawing upon the ideas of Giorgio Agamben, it proposes an alternative conceptualisation of international life in which the juridical is dispossessed of its political rationality. Such an outlook allows for the reframing of international politics at a critical distance from geopolitical orthodoxies within international theory and opens up new possibilities for ethics in international politics.