The bulk of the scholarly literature on city-regions and their governance is drawn from contexts where economic and political systems have been stable over an extended period. However, many parts of the world, including all countries in the BRICS, have experienced far-reaching national transformations in the recent past in economic and/or political systems. The national transitions are complex, with a mix of continuity and rupture, while their translation into the scale of the city-region is often indirect. But, these transitions have been significant for the city-region, providing a period of opportunity and institutional fluidity. Studies of the BRICS show that outcomes of transitions are varied but that there are junctures of productive comparison including the ways in which the nature of the transitions create new path dependencies, and way in which interests across territorial scales soon consolidate, producing new rigidities in city-region governance.