Weekend Reads: Jihadists Returning Home, Too Much Emphasis on Marriage, and More

New this week

The threat posed by returning jihadists is over-hyped. Daniel Byman and Jeremy Shapiro examine the exaggerated threat posed by the estimated 100 Americans that have joined the Syrian war since 2011—and will eventually return home.

Who spent money in the 2014 primaries? Elaine Kamarck pulls out key findings from the most extensive study ever—courtesy of the Campaign Finance Institute—of the role of independent expenditures in primary elections.

(Really) good news in the August jobs numbers. Gary Burtless looks at the specifics to explain why September’s unemployment rate was the lowest since July 2008.

We’ve put too much emphasis on marriage. Isabel Sawhill explains why in a new video on unintended pregnancy and child well-being in America.

What our experts are reading

Fascinating, funny read by Jennifer Williams: How a blonde tattooed Texas girl became an ISIS Twitter star. (@MaloneySuzanne)

Javier Solana makes the case for strong, effective, & inclusive multilateral institutions. (@StrobeTalbott)

Nice piece on unseen women in tech and Walter Isaacson’s new book The Innovators. So why bury it in fashion section and not biz? (@JBradley_DC)

Wesleyan University Gov. John Hickenlooper talks about marijuana regulation in CO. (@PhilipWallach)