The article proposes an analytical framework about the relationship between participation and public policies, as it results from the various participative processes (around hundred), which have taken place in Tuscany, from 2008 to 2012, and have been supported by a regional law (n. 69/2007). After an illustration of the main normative contents of this law, the article presents an evaluation of its main results and the problems that this experience has faced. The article also proposes a typology of these participative processes founded on a twofold dimension: their potential conflictual implications and their political salience. In addition, other features are considered: their impact on social cohesion and civicness, their connection with a wider public sphere and the political system, their effects on policy-making process. Finally, while many critical points may be noted, in the whole the outcomes of this innovative strategy to promote and diffuse new participatory models within the policy-making processes may be considered positive.