Neil E. Harrison was born and educated in England. He studied in the United States, where he has earned a doctorate in International Studies from the University of Denver. In his graduate work he concentrated on development and technology studies, and his dissertation compared the formation of national policies on climate change in ten countries and the effect of those positions on the international negotiations. Dr Harrison researches local and national strategies and policies for sustainable development, and the formation and effect of international institutions for environmental conservation. In his book Constructing Sustainable Development (2000) he showed how current thinking about sustainable development is, at best, incomplete and often dangerously misguided, and how effective integrated strategies for sustainable development can only be developed out of agent-based models of social systems. He has published many technical papers, articles, and chapters on sustainable development, the uses of technological innovation in sustainable development, and the interplay of science and politics in the formation of international institutions for climate change mitigation. He has several research projects in progress. He is preparing a book that uses agent-based models to define corporate strategies and government policies to allow firms to be profitable in competitive markets, while aiding the process of sustainable development. He also is co-editing a book of case studies on the interaction of science and politics in international environmental issues, and editing a book on how agent based theories can improve understanding in international relations and global studies. Both edited texts are scheduled for publication in 2003. Several articles and invited chapters on environment and development, and the international politics of climate change, are in various stages in the publication process. Future research plans include further investigation into the uses of technological innovation in sustainable development.
He has taught at three universities, most recently at the University of Wyoming. He also is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Institute, a non-profit institution that researches and advises on strategies and policies for sustainable development. Dr. Harrison has consulted on many issues in Europe and North America and has traveled or worked in nearly forty countries on four continents.