This Article seeks to better define the scope of the right to self-determination at international law and its relationship with unilateral secession. After an introductory overview, Part I begins by rooting internal self-determination in five societal institutions that support democratic rule. Among these institutions is the recognition of the fallibility of political systems and the acceptance of civil disobedience as an expressive claim for a new legal order. Part II seeks to “uncouple” external self-determination from unilateral secession, expanding the scope of the right to self-determination on the international plane. In doing so, it draws an analogy between unilateral succession and civil disobedience, where secessionist declarations of independence can be seen as moral claims to be legitimized through state recognition. Lastly, Part III introduces the concept of “democratic disobedience” as a means to support democratization on a global scale. It argues that the demonstration of a commitment to democratic principles can give increased force to secessionist claims in the eyes of democratic states. Furthermore, though secession is more likely to be effected from non-democratic states, democracies are not completely immune from secessionist cries and thus have an incentive to maintain healthy democratic institutions. The result is a model whereby new democracies may more readily gain international recognition and existing democracies may be self-preserving. The ideational goal is self-determination for all.