||Social and environmental accounting (SEA) is currently going through a period of critical selfanalysis. Challenging questions are being raised about how SEA should be defined, who should be doing the defining, and what the agenda should be. We attempt to engage and enrich these debates from both a process and content perspective by drawing on the political philosophy of agonistic pluralism and a set of debates within the environmental movement – “the death of environmentalism” debates. The contribution of the paper is twofold: to set forth the death of environmentalism debates in the accounting literature and, in doing so, to contextualize and theorize the contested nature of SEA using agonistic pluralism. In contrast to consensually oriented approaches to SEA, the desired outcome is not necessarily resolution of ideological differences but to imagine, develop, and support democratic processes wherein these differences can be recognized and engaged. We construe the “Death” debates as illustrative of the contestable practical and political issues facing both SEA and progressive social movements generally, demonstrating the context and content of the deliberations necessary in contemplating effective programs of engagement. The SEA community, and civil society groups, can benefit from the more overtly political perspective provided by agonistic pluralism. By surfacing and engaging with various antagonisms in this wider contested civic sphere, SEA can more effectively respond to, and move beyond, traditional politically conservative, managerialist approaches to sustainability.